Governor Wolf, PennDOT Preview Northwest Region Construction

Meadville, PA –- (RealEstateRama) — Governor Tom Wolf today joined regional Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) officials to announce that more than 90 projects worth approximately $210 million will be under construction in PennDOT’s six-county northwestern region this year.

“We’re making investments in every corner of Pennsylvania to improve safety and mobility,” Governor Wolf said. “The significant and innovative work happening in this region will pay dividends for the motorists and businesses who use the transportation system.”

Governor Wolf also discussed regional Recycled Asphalt Paving (RAP) operations that are being expanded elsewhere in the state as part of PennDOT’s Road Maintenance and Preservation (Road MaP) initiative that he recently announced will invest $2.1 billion in roadway maintenance and highway and bridge capital projects over the next 10 years.

Projects will replace or rehabilitate about 40 bridges and resurface about 183 miles of roads in the PennDOT District 1 service area that includes Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties. The program includes projects continued from 2016 along with projects starting in 2017.

District 1’s work schedule was enhanced by nearly $20 million that will be invested to support much needed interstate preservation projects. Those include improvements to eight miles of Interstate 80 from Clintonville to Emlenton in Venango County; 3.5 miles of Interstate 79 in near Edinboro in Erie County; and the 4.3-mile-long section of Interstate 376 in Mercer County.

“We have an ambitious construction schedule this year, and we are pleased to be able to undertake these improvements to the road and bridge network in northwestern Pennsylvania,” said William G. Petit, district executive of PennDOT District 1.

Of the two highest dollar value projects that are underway in the northwest region, one is located in the region’s busiest urban center, while the other is located in the district’s most rural county. Those are the $20.9 million project that will improve Interchange Road/Zimmerly Road in metropolitan Erie, and the $24 million Hunter Station Bridge replacement on Route 62 in Forest County.

Along with Hunter Station, major bridge projects include an $11.3 million project to rehabilitate the twin 3,600-foot-long Interstate 79 bridges over the Conneaut Swamp in Crawford County,  the $9 million Smock Bridge rehabilitation project on Routes 322/6/19 in the Meadville area, and construction of two 115-foot-long bridges that will span railroad tracks to improve safety on Millfair Road in Erie County.

“Thanks to the Act 89 transportation plan, we have been able to make significant progress in addressing structurally deficient bridges in the northwest region,” Petit said.

Currently 173 of the district’s 2,069 state-owned bridges — 8.36 percent — are classed as structurally deficient.

District 1 maintenance employees, meanwhile, plan to pave almost 50 miles of lower traffic roads in the region with RAP this year, and use recycled asphalt to pave the shoulders of more than seven more miles of road. RAP is an environmentally conscious method that repurposes materials from projects onto other roadways by mixing ground millings with oil. The district estimates that the per-ton cost of RAP is roughly half the cost of new asphalt material.

In Governor Wolf’s February Road MaP announcement, he noted that RAP will be an increased focus with PennDOT forces starting this year. Armstrong and Monroe counties will see RAP operations this year, with usage expanded in 2018.

District 1 has projects that not only improve the efficiency and safety of roads for motorists and pedestrians, but also make highway corridors serve as attractive gateways into communities. Those include the multi-year series of projects to improve the Route 718/760 corridor in the Sharon/Hermitage/Wheatland area of Mercer County, and the Sharon Streetscape project in the City of Sharon.

Petit added that the additional resources of Act 89 have enabled the district to not only pave more roads, but to undertake much-needed betterment projects that involve more extensive restoration and reconstruction work. Those include projects such as West Road in Erie County, Baldwin Street in Meadville, Route 322 in Venango County, and Route 426 in Warren County.

A map showing all contracted work that District 1 has underway or that will start or be bid this year is available at www.penndot.gov/district1 on the “Construction Projects/Roadwork” page.

More information on Road MaP is available at www.penndot.gov on the “Act 89 Transportation Plan” page.

For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit www.projects.penndot.gov.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For more PennDOT information, visit www.penndot.gov. Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAErie.

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