A section of East Washington Street from Shenango Township to Croton Avenue will officially be named Route 65 next month.

H. Daniel Cessna, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation district executive, told the county commissioners yesterday that section of road is being assigned the state route number for continuity from where Route 65 now stops in Shenango Township at the bridge over Route 422, to the intersection of Route 108 downtown.

That section of road, which is inside the city limits, also is scheduled for paving this summer, Cessna noted.

The road designation is expected to be completed by the end of February, and the highway number signs will be posted along the road, Cessna said.

Commissioner Dan Vogler commented that the change will make it a lot easier to give directions to people entering New Castle to find their way downtown.

Cessna pointed out the change also will be made on future Pennsylvania maps.

Route 65 is one of several roads Cessna said would be paved during the summer construction season.

“PennDOT’s budget for Lawrence County is a challenge sometimes,” he said, but this year a fair amount of paving will be done countywide.

The number of projects will depend on good and efficient bids and whether the department keeps within its winter snow-clearing budget, Cessna said.

He attended the commissioners meeting with Jeffrey M. Karr, PennDOT’s assistant district executive of maintenance for the Pittsburgh district, which includes Allegheny, Lawrence and Beaver counties. Also with them was Phillip Yannotti, PennDOT’s county maintenance manager for Beaver and Lawrence counties.

Another project planned is the paving of more than five miles of Route 488, extending from Fountain Avenue in Ellwood City east. It will include sections in Ellport Borough, Perry and Wayne townships, past the Third Bridge in Wurtemburg to where the Pleasant Hill Grange formerly was located.

Cessna promised the deck of a bridge on Route 224 in Union Township over Route 60 near Wal-Mart will be repaired.

Other roads to be paved this summer, as outlined by Cessna, are:

•A section of Route 108 in Plain Grove and Scott townships, between Harlansburg and the Butler County line.

•A section of Route 208 in Washington Township, from Volant to Leesburg at the Mercer County line.

•Route 956 in Washington Township.

PennDOT also will undertake several seal-coating (oil and chip) projects during the coming year, but roads to receive that treatment have not been decided yet, Cessna said.

“If we didn’t have oil and chip in Lawrence County, you would have some dirt roads,” Cessna said.

“It’s a necessary tool in our toolbox ... to keep our system preserved.”

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