PennDOT preparing for spring work on Rt. 119

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Route 119 Committee recently received an update on area highway construction projects from PennDOT District 10.
Timothy J. Jablunovsky, P.E., portfolio manager for PennDOT District 10, said with the arrival of spring, it will be time to complete some projects and begin others.

• Elk Run Bridge, and the 310 Intersection — This project is actually three projects occurring at this location, Jablunovsky said.

The first is the sight distance improvement project that will remove a house at the corner of Route 310 and Route 119 in Elk Run.

Jablunovsky said PennDOT has acquired the house, which will be demolished in a few weeks. Construction will then begin on the bridge replacement and turning lane project in the 2012 construction season.
Jablunovsky said there has been some core sampling work occurring on the bridge, which spans over the Elk Run Creek.

• Punxsutawney Signals — The project will be put out for bid March 31 for construction this season.

Work will include replacing and upgrading signals at four intersections; interconnecting the signals; addressing ADA requirements; and re-timing and re-phasing the signals for efficiency.

The curb cuts will require the latest ADA handicap safety ramps at the following intersections — Mahoning Street, Hampton, Jefferson, Findley and Gilpin streets.

ADA Standards require that curb ramps include features called “detectable warnings,” which consist of a series of small domes that contrast in color with the surrounding sidewalk or street.

These are intended to function much like stop signs for pedestrians who are blind or have low vision.

The warnings are intended to be felt with pedestrians’ feet, alerting blind individuals and those with low vision that he or she is about to enter a street.

Borough Manager Ben White said at a recent borough council meeting that the traffic signal upgrade entails new signals, signal posts and mast arms.

Hampton is currently the only intersection that has mast arms supporting the traffic signals. The traffic signals in the other intersections are supported by wires.

The intersections will be video monitored to detect if there is a considerable amount of traffic on the side streets.

The project will include new pedestrian signals installed at all the intersections downtown and a new crosswalk installed across Hampton, from the Mahoning Towers to the East End bridge.

White said all the crosswalks will be activated by a push-button that pedestrians can use at their own convenience, and that all of the new signals will have LED lights.

The project should begin in late spring and take about three months to complete.

• Big Run Arch Bridge — The construction was expected to start as early as last week.

Work was ahead of schedule in the fall when the project was shut down for the winter, so it will probably be finished earlier than the expected June completion date.

The 81-foot bridge was originally constructed in 1916 and carries an average daily traffic of 6,037 vehicles.

As part of the project, a temporary road was constructed over Big Run Creek.

• Sykesville Bridge — This project is programmed for construction in 2013 on the TIP.

Jablunovsky said PennDOT is currently working on final design, and negotiations for the right-of-way acquisition will soon begin.
One lane of traffic will be maintained during construction with a temporary signal.