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PennDOT: Traffic signal project back on track

September 19, 2011

Curtis Girt, a construction worker for M&B Services Concrete Construction of Clarion, demolishes existing curb ramps as part of the $1.1 million Punxsy downtown traffic signal replacement project. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Work resumed Monday on the downtown traffic signal replacement project, with the replacement of the pedestrian curb ramps.
Kirby Starr, project manager for PennDOT, said the $1.1 million project was delayed was due to a switch to a different type of pole, which requires different anchor bolts, and was also subject to approval by PennDOT.

Starr said the traffic light project on North Findley, Pine and Torrence streets is not a part of the downtown Mahoning Street traffic light project.

The black poles and mast arms will resemble those on the Pine Street project, Starr said, adding that project is managed by Brian Sekula of The EADS Group Inc.

Starr said the elimination of the overhead wires from the former traffic signals is one of the improvements that will result from the new signal project.

Also, the signals will be attached to the mast arms over the lanes of traffic, he said. Furthermore, there will be new street lights at the intersections on top of the same pole to which the traffic signals are attached.

Starr said the new signals will be timed differently.

There will also be a video detection feature that monitors the amount of traffic at an intersection, he said.

Traffic can be remotely monitored at the new control boxes, which will be located on the ground and not on the poles, Starr said.

M&B Services Concrete Construction is the sub-contractor for the ADA curb ramps project which began Monday, Starr said.

The ADA curb ramps will include a Disabled Warning System, with the ramp size four feet by eight feet, featuring truncated domes that are raised up so if a sight-impaired person walks up to an intersection and feels the domes that will alert him or her to the intersection before he or she steps onto the street.

Starr said all four intersections will be updated, including a couple of alley intersections on East Mahoning Street.

The existing traffic signals will remain in place until the new signals are installed and ready for operation, he said.

The work on the curb ramps will continue to the end of October, with a tentative date for pole delivery set for Nov. 10.

While the poles are put into place, and the signals installed on the mast arms, Starr said this year, the traffic signals and curb ramps will be completed, and any paving must be done by Oct. 30, when the asphalt plants shut down.

Even though the traffic lights will be functional, and the curb ramps will be completed, paving will have to be completed in the spring, Starr said. The traffic light update should be completed by Dec. 12.

Starr is also the manager of the Graffius Avenue bridge replacement, which has received a 20-day extension from PennDOT due to utility issues that occurred at the beginning of the project. The completion date is now scheduled for Oct. 30.

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