Region's construction season rolls out with $122 million price tag

Scott Beveridge
Observer Reporter

The state Department of Transportation on Monday rolled out details about the region’s construction season, one with a $122 million price tag and a major focus on modernizing Interstate 70.

The investment for this year doesn’t include the cost of existing, ongoing construction contracts across Washington, Fayette, Greene and Westmoreland counties, said Valerie Peterson, a PennDOT spokeswoman.

“We’re in for a very busy construction season,” Assistant PennDOT District Engineer William L. Kovach said Monday at a media briefing at a maintenance headquarters in North Bethlehem Township.

Among the projects that were highlighted was the ongoing reconstruction of I-70 in Washington County between Routes 136 and 519, a project to cost $117.8 million.

“There is a lot of work in Washington County,” Kovach said.

Rachel D. Duda, an assistant PennDOT executive, discussed the redesign and reconstruction of the Route 51 interchange with I-70 that will include a diverging diamond similar to the newer one on Route 19 in South Strabane Township.

The crossovers of traffic will be built on Route 51 in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, with a completion date set for 2022, Duda said.

“If you like the one in Washington, you’re really going to love this one,” she said.

The Arnold City interchange on I-70 in Rostraver also will be rebuilt.

Petersen said construction of what is known as the $12.4 million Ohiopyle Multimodel Gateway in Fayette County will take a break between Memorial Day and Labor Day so as not to interfere with the tourist season.

Meanwhile, work will take place on Route 166 between Brownsville and Hibbs in Fayette at a cost of $4.6 million. Two bridges will be replaced on Route 2040 in Fayette at a combined cost of about $8 million.

In Greene County, Route 19 will be resurfaced from Waynesburg to the Washington County line.

In Washington County, a major $28.6 million reconstruction project will begin on Route 519 where it intersects with Route 980, and include improvements to the juncture with Interstate 79.

The event also was attended by Deputy Secretary of Highway Administration George McAuley Jr., who said Pennsylvania has many challenges with 40,000 miles of roads.

“There’s a lot of need in our system,” McAuley said.