End of downtown project now in sight

PUNXSUTAWNEY — With the completion of the paving on Mahoning Street this week, the end of PennDOT’s $1.1 million downtown traffic signal upgrade is in sight.

Workers from Power Contracting, the contractor on the signal project, continued installing the new overhead signage Friday.

The new traffic signals will be activated Wednesday and Thursday, two intersections per day, according to PennDOT Project Manager Kirby Starr, who also said the former traffic light system will be removed once the new lights are activated.

The old poles will be removed, and sidewalk rehabilitation and reseeding between Jefferson Street and Hampton Avenue will occur where the poles once stood, he said.

The paving of Mahoning Street downtown was completed early Friday, Starr said, adding that there are traffic legend signs, painting of turn arrows and painting of the yellow line to be performed from Church Street to the other side of the bridge to the former Mary A. Wilson Elementary School.

He said the reason the paving was done at night instead of during the day was because the last time the street was paved about eight or nine years ago, traffic was backed up on the Indiana Hill and at other locations throughout town.

“The primary reason we paved it at night was to ease the pressure on the traveling public on Route 119, one of the most heavily-traveled roads in the state, which also allowed the public to utilize the parking spaces in downtown during the day,” Starr said.

The old asphalt was milled out, a heavy-duty membrane was replaced and a new wearing course was placed, he said.

Starr said Punxsutawney borough crews took the opportunity to paint the parking space markers on Mahoning Street as soon as the project was completed.

In addition to street markers, the painting sub-contractor will paint the crosswalks downtown, he said.

Starr said other work that was performed as part of the project included the installation of accessible pedestrian push buttons; removal of light poles and replacement of existing overhead signs; removal of post-mounted signs, installation of drainage; replacement of reflective sheeting as needed; sign installation; lightpole installation; new traffic signals; paving; line painting, and related miscellaneous construction.

Starr said the project should be completed by May 18.