PennDOT plans for busy summer of construction in southwestern PA

Jon Andreassi

The state Department of Transportation is preparing for a busy construction season, with dozens of projects planned throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Twenty projects are planned for Washington County, eight for Greene County and 10 for Fayette County.

“I am pleased to announce a list of transportation projects for the southwest region that represent balancing the needs of the interstate, national highway, secondary, and local networks within our vital transportation system,” said Gov. Tom Wolf in the release. “It is through the continual efforts of our staff in the construction, design, and maintenance teams of PennDOT that we are able to preserve and improve so many of our roadways and bridges even during these challenging financial times.”

The priciest of the projects will be several improvements to Route 18, which includes new traffic signals and upgrades to existing signals. The project is expected to cost $10.3 million and be completed in September 2022, according to the release.

Other improvements to Route 18 will include turning lanes at some intersections, new sidewalks and ADA ramps.

PennDOT also hopes to complete a $2.5 million project to restore the portion of Pike Street that goes over Chartiers Creek by September.

In 2020, PennDOT faced construction delays due to COVID-19. According to Acting Press Officer Jay Ofsanik, when projects began to start back up last summer, contractors needed to present a COVID safety plan to resume construction.

“COVID was a challenge ... Now that we’re moving into 2021, those restrictions are being lifted. We should be able to put all of our projects back on schedule,” Ofsanik said.

Some projects, such as the signal upgrades on Route 18, began before the pandemic and were not heavily affected by restrictions, according to Ofsanik.

In Greene County, PennDOT plans improvements to the bridge carrying McCracken Road over Mudlick Fork in Aleppo Township, according to the press release. The project will cost $1.7 million and is expected to be completed this year.

There will also be bridge replacement projects on Maranda Run Road in Center Township and Poland Run Road in Richhill Township. PennDOT estimates the projects will cost $400,000 each.

“There is a bridge inspection and maintenance program that is continual,” said Greene County Commissioner Mike Belding. “There is a whole plan in place on how they select those bridges.”

Belding added the county is cooperative with PennDOT on the projects.

“We’re always appreciative of any funding that comes in and keeps our roads and bridges safe,” Belding said.

PennDOT will also complete emergency slide repair on Gillespie Road in Washington Township, Fayette County, for just under $800,000 and repair two bridges on Breakneck Road for $400,000.