I-70 makeover of Bentleyville interchanges nears completion

Scott Beveridge
Observer Reporter

A major reconstruction of the Interstate 70 interchanges at Bentleyville is nearing completion, creating what the state said is a safer, modern stretch of the highway.

The state Department of Transportation has announced the “substantial completion” of the nearly $75.9 million project in Bentleyville and Fallowfield and Somerset townships, PennDOT records show.

Nearly 86,000 square yards of concrete were used to totally reconstruct I-70 between and beyond the Bentleyville and Ginger Hill interchanges, according to a progress report issued by PennDOT district executive Joseph J. Szczur.

The project, which began in the fall of 2015, was met with several challenges including a pre-construction survey of historic Newkirk Cemetery to ensure that no graves would be damaged. PennDOT also had to seek an archaeological dig to retrieve Indian artifacts that were left behind nearly 10,000 years ago in Somerset Township.

The project included the construction of bridges and a roundabout off of I-70 at Wilson Road.

The section of highway dating to the 1950s had narrow berms and ramps where it was difficult to judge approaching traffic.

“We are very pleased that the Bentleyville Interchange project, along with other projects along the I-70 corridor between New Stanton and Washington, are helping to modernize the interstate in our district,” Szczur said.

“With the Bentleyville Interchange we were able to incorporate modern innovations such as the roundabout to fit the framework of other completed sections, and where the region envisions I-70 to look in the future.”