Committees outline upcoming summer projects

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The approach of summer means the approach of construction, as discussed Tuesday by members of Punxsutawney Borough Council’s Public Safety and Public Works committees.

Borough Manager Ben White said Public Works crews are almost done painting crosswalks throughout the borough.

He also said he received a request from PennDOT District 10 about painting crosswalks on Mahoning Street where the traffic signal upgrade project will take place.

PennDOT has requested that the borough not paint crosswalks at downtown intersections on Mahoning Street due to the installation of new curb ramps, which could change the locations of the painted lines, White said. The contractor, Power Contracting, will repaint the crosswalk lines once the project is complete.

White said that Joe Defelice, Public Works supervisor, asked Kirby Starr, PennDOT project manager, if it would paint the hash marks in the crosswalks, as the borough does.

Also at Tuesday’s Public Works meeting:
• Chairman Roger Steele said he and others toured locations of the traffic signal upgrade, and he’s not happy about the placement of a traffic signal control box at the Gilpin Street intersection.
Council had requested that the traffic signal control boxes not be mounted on utility poles as the former signals were, but placed on the ground such as in Indiana.

Steele said he suggested that the box on Gilpin be placed near the Medicine Shoppe sign. Instead, PennDOT plans to place the box alongside the block where Subway is located.

• Steele said PennDOT asked what council’s preference is regarding the replacement of the Sawmill Run Bridge on West Mahoning Street next year.
PennDOT presented two proposals for borough officials: Razing and rebuilding the bridge in three months if council approves a detour around the construction zone, or keeping half the road open with traffic signals over a nine-month construction season. Under this proposal, there would be 10 traffic signals installed in the construction zone, from SS.C.D. to the Comet Market area.

White said every time a vehicle would approach one of the intersections from a side street, the signal would change.

“PennDOT said with the traffic signals, it could take a motorist 30 minutes or more to travel through the construction zone during peak driving periods,” he said.

Council President Susan Glessner said it appears that the borough has no choice but to go with the detour and the three-month construction period.

Street paving in Punxsutawney will begin next week:
• Pine Street, from Mitchell Avenue to Sycamore Street.
• Park Avenue, from Jenks Avenue, 490 feet to a point.
• Highland Avenue, from Blair Street to the end.
• Sutton Street, from Mitchell Avenue to Sycamore Street.
• Walnut Alley, from Mulberry Alley to Route 119.
• Horatio Street, from Jensen Street to 213 Horatio St.
Borough Manager Ben White said residents should avoid these streets and not park vehicles on them during the paving period.
The local media will be notified if there are any changes to the paving schedule, he said.