PennDOT continues road work

More projects set to improve safety

Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec / A crewman waits for traffic to clear before resuming road work on 17th Street recently. Some Blair County road projects are winding down while others have yet to begin.

PennDOT is continuing its efforts to make Blair County highways and bridges safer.

In 2014, $950 million to help fund projects was created through Act 89.

“We have planned 660 projects over a 12-year period as a result of Act 89. We have completed 60 percent of those projects to date. Another 10 percent will be done over the next four years. In Blair County, there were 148 projects, and 51 percent have been completed,” said Thomas Prestash, PennDOT District 9 executive, at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club on Thursday.

Some Blair County projects are winding down while others have yet to begin.

The $7.6 million Route 22 Frankstown Intersection project is expected to be completed in October.

The project is designed to improve a dangerous intersection and line up Reservoir and Frankstown roads, Prestash said.

“That was one of our top crash areas,” Prestash said.

The $4.1 million 17th Street/Valley View Boulevard/Pleasant Valley Boulevard Project should be completed in November.

The project is designed to alleviate congestion in that area.

“The problem is created when cars coming off Pleasant Valley Boulevard all go into the right lane (of 17th Street). We are making a second right turn lane on the on-ramp to I-99 south. We hope people will start using both lanes,” Prestash said.

Meanwhile, work is set to begin Monday on the I-99 rehabilitation project from 17th Street to Grazierville.

Grannas Bros. Stone & Asphalt Co. Inc. will begin on the concrete pavement restoration and bituminous overlay of I-99 from the 17th Street Interchange to the Grazierville exit.

The project also includes preservation activities on eight structures. Concrete patching and bituminous overlay at the Pinecroft and Bellwood interchanges will be completed and will connect I-99 to Business 220 along with routes 764 and 865, according to a PennDOT press release.

The project will consist of phased long-term lane closures beginning at the Pinecroft Interchange on Monday.

All work on the $27 million project is expected to be completed by November 2018.

Bids for the Route 22 Canoe Creek Intersection Project will be opened later this year with construction beginning next year, Prestash said.

The estimated $10 million to $15 million project will include three intersection improvements and also include a underpass of Route 22 to connect the Lower Trail to Canoe Creek State Park. The project is expected to be completed in 2020, Prestash said.

The PennDOT projects are important to the local community, said Joe Hurd, chamber president/CEO.

“The business community relies heavily on a sound transportation system — not only in terms of highways and bridges but public transit, air transit and passenger rail. Our local PennDOT people do an exceptional job in taking into consideration how business is impacted by projects in our area,” Hurd said.

Hurd also said the chamber, through its transportation committee, has an outstanding working relationship with PennDOT.

“That has made a huge difference in how accessible our businesses are and how safe our community is for people who live and work here as well as those who visit here,” Hurd


Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.