Borough’s summer construction calls for ‘lots of patience’

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A word from Borough Manager Ben White to busy motorists and pedestrians as the borough’s summer construction season draws near: “Patience ... lots and lots of patience this summer.”

During Punxsutawney Borough Council’s Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday, Chairman Roger Steele said the Torrence Street widening project is going as planned, and crews hope to pave the soon-to-be two-way street this week — weather-permitting, of course.

Crews are also working on creating handicap-accessible curbs at the intersections of Pine and North Findley Streets, he said. Work also began on the installation of new traffic signal posts, but through an error, those posts are now on back order and likely won’t be ready for installation until August.

White said if the weather permits, and crews are able to pave Torrence Street, that work could be completed by the time the full council meets Monday night.

Steele said once the new two-way Torrence Street is paved and ready for traffic, left turns from Torrence onto North Findley Street will be prohibited, and a stop sign will be installed to remind motorists of this possibly-temporary rule.

He said the borough wants to examine the traffic flow at that intersection until the new traffic signal posts can be installed.
Another traffic signal project — this one by PennDOT — will see crews replacing traffic signal along Mahoning Street this summer, possibly beginning in mid-May. That project is possible through grant from PennDOT, White said.

The installation of new traffic signals could be momentarily postponed during Punxsy’s two major summer events, Old Home Week and the Groundhog Festival, Steele said.

Coupled with a roof project on the Punxsutawney Area Community Center, the borough will see quite a bit of construction this summer, Steele said.

“When you look at this list, it’ll drive you nuts,” he said.

Also Monday:

• A public meeting to view PennDOT District 10’s plans for the Sawmill Run bridge replacement project — along West Mahoning Street, near Rumor’s Tavern — will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in council chambers.

White said there have been discussions about using one lane for travel during the bridge project, or implementing a detour.

Steele said due to safety concerns about emergency vehicles traveling along West Mahoning Street, the borough is “strongly recommending” the use of one-lane for travel.

• Another bridge project that will see a detour is the Graffius Avenue bridge replacement project, near Neko’s and Carter Avenue.

Crews will undertake that project throughout the summer.

• Steele said borough crews are prepared for crosswalk painting, but it all depends on a spring-time constant.

“We are ready when the weather is,” he said.