PennDOT reveals updated project plans

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Representatives from PennDOT District 10 held an open house Thursday night at the Lindsey Fire Hall to show residents changes to two major projects in the borough.

Residents could see early work on the two projects — the Route 110/Route 310 turning lanes project and the Elk Run Bridge/Route 119 and the Sawmill Run Bridge, Route 36/Mahoning Street replacement project — as early as this fall.

Mark Rozich, project manager for the Route 110/Route 310 turning lanes project and the Elk Run Bridge/Route 119 project, said it will now include work on the railroad crossing at the intersection of Hampton and Jenks avenues, as well as extend to a railroad crossing further up Route 310.

He also said the project for the bridge that spans Elk Run is the most significant change since PennDOT representatives last addressed the project for the public.

Rozich said that project has now grown in scope to entail building an all together new bridge, for safety purposes.

The project will be let this summer, but will not start until April 2013, he said. PennDOT must order steel beams, which could take about six months for delivery.

PennDOT District 10 representative Tom Baltz said while the project may not begin until next spring, residents could see some utility work underway this fall.

Also, Rozich said a lane for traffic turning left onto Orchard Avenue will include a fly-by, or a lane for other traffic to safely pass vehicles in the turning lane.

As has been discussed over the past two years, the Elk Run project also entails safety improvements, including the addition of left turning lanes and sight-distance improvements at the intersection of Routes 119 and 310.

Especially with the expansion of the Elk Run bridge, detours will be via Route 36 to Cloe, and then over to Route 119 via Rikers Road, Rozich said.

Also Thursday, PennDOT discussed plans for the Sawmill Run Bridge, Route 36/Mahoning Street, replacement project, which also proposes the demolition of Rumors Bar & Restaurant, 901 West Mahoning St.

David Layman, project manager, said the existing Sawmill Run bridge will be replaced by a pre-cast box culvert, which should expedite construction, and new sidewalks.

While construction is ongoing, there will be a temporary pedestrian bridge away from the work, Layman said.

The detour during the Sawmill Run project will utilize both Route 119 and Route 436, he said, which could be a challenge in the early stages of work.

“Especially the first two weeks, there are some detours,” Layman said. “Until people figure out the best route, there will be some congestion.”
The Sawmill Run project will be let in January 2013 and will begin in June 2013.