Council warns of road closure at 119/Ridge

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The first work that will be done as part of the Route 310 and 119 intersection improvements will get begin Friday, when the railroad crossing on Route 119 will be reconstructed.

Monday, Borough Manager Ben White said PennDOT Engin-eering District 10 advises motorists that Route 119/Ridge Avenue will be closed in both directions at the railroad crossing.

The road closure is located between Route 310 and Route 2017 (Orchard Avenue), and will be in place from 6 p.m. Friday through noon Monday.

A detour will be in place using Route 36 to Route 2009 (Riker’s Road) to Route 119.

As part of this work, the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. will replace the existing rubber crossing surface with a full depth concrete surface. All work will be performed by the railroad’s contract work force.

The main portion of the project will not begin until 2012, White said, because PennDOT is negotiating to
purchase a nearby house that is for sale in order to raze it, which will improve the sight distances and installation of a turning lane.

Also Monday:

• White said PennDOT will enhance traffic signals throughout the downtown area in the next several months.

“It’s a good project, and they’re asking borough council to inform them as to what kind of posts the borough would like to hold the traffic signals,” he said. “The decorative posts would replace the galvanized posts that they currently have supporting the signals.

“That is something that council needs to discuss and consider in the future,” White said.

Council member Roger Steele said the signs attached to the current poles direct people to the businesses on side streets, and will need to be placed on the new traffic light poles once installed.

• Steele reported on the proposed replacement of a Route 36 bridge that spans Saw Mill Run.

He said PennDOT has asked how council would like to have that bridge replacement done. The project would be performed in halves, such as the Route 119 bridge project spanning Mahoning Creek was.

“I don’t think we have a choice, especially for the emergency vehicles from the fire company and the ambulances that travel through there all the time,” Steele said. “It’s a no-brainer that we want that construction done one lane at a time.”

Council approved a motion to have White inform PennDOT about council’s wishes.

• Steele said the Torrence Street widening project has been designed and let, with a projected spring start date.

Everything is in order to expand the Torrence Street area to make it a two-way street, he said, with the traffic light being located at the intersection of North Findley Street and Torrence Street.

White added that the borough received a grant to help for the project, and that Palo Construction was the low bidder at around $800,000, which is $100,000 lower than the first bids.

• Council approved hiring Ken Bishop of Punxsy as a new Public Works employee, and approved the resignation of Public Works employee Nicholas Vandermark, who was just completing his probation period.

• White said he received the CDBG contract for 2011 last week for $134,169.

“We recently held our first public meeting, and we’ll hold the next one in January or February,” White said, adding that council should decide on what projects it would like to propose.

• White added that the borough received a request last week from Thermal-Gard Building Products Inc. to borrow money through the Economic Loan Fund.

The amount requested is $100,000 to be used to add more product lines.

Council approved the loan subject to rewriting of the agreement.