Wolf Administration Previews 2018 Northwest Region Construction Season, Highlights Projects

March 15, 2018

Oil City, PA –  Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards today highlighted transportation investments as PennDOT announced that more than 75 highway and bridge projects are expected to be under construction in its six-county northwest region this year.

“We’re making roadway and bridge improvements in every corner of the state, improving mobility for our citizens and businesses,” Governor Wolf said of today’s announcement. “In addition to these regional projects, I have also committed more investment to the state’s rural and local infrastructure.”

Complementing the significant projects in the northwest region, Governor Wolf recently reinforced the administration’s commitment to rural roads with new plans to improve more than 1,100 rural and low-volume roadway miles and rehabilitate or replace at least 85 municipally owned bridges over five years.

“We are committed to maintaining and improving traffic movement and safety in Pennsylvania,” Richards said of the region’s plans. “The northwest region will continue to see improvements in cities and small communities alike.”

Today’s announcement was made by PennDOT District 1 Executive William G. Petit, P.E., speaking at District 1’s Erie County maintenance office to discuss new and continuing projects that the public will see in the northwest region in 2018. The department anticipates investing more than $185 million in the northwest region this year.

PennDOT’s Engineering District 1 serves Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties, and work in that region this year will pave approximately 160 miles of roads and replace or rehabilitate 49 bridges.

“We look forward to the start of a new construction season, and the opportunity that presents to fix and improve our highway system,” Petit said. “We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in providing motorists with a safe and efficient transportation network, and we are eager to continue to build on our past accomplishments.”

In addition to the planned capital projects, county maintenance employees in the northwest will resurface 58 miles of lower-traffic roads with Recycled Asphalt Pavement this year.

Along with the capital projects that replace or rehabilitate bridges, waterproof membranes will be applied to the decks of 20 more bridges in the region, to preserve the bridges and extend their service life.

Two bridges will be built with concrete beams that maintenance employees in Crawford and Warren counties precast during winter dark hours when they were not busy plowing and salting roads.

Notable projects that will continue this year include:

  • The Interchange Road/Zimmerly Road Improvement Project in Millcreek Township, Erie County ($21 million);
  • The Millfair Road Improvement Project in Millcreek Township, Erie County ($12.5 million);
  • Rehabilitation of the twin bridges on Interstate 79 over Conneaut Swamp in Crawford County ($11.3 million);
  • Completion of the multi-year corridor improvement project on Route 718/760 in Mercer County ($4.1 million); and
  • Resurfacing eight miles of I-80 in Venango County ($9.8 million).

Notable projects that are expected to be begin this year include:

  • Reconstruction of a portion of Route 6 (French Creek Parkway) in the City of Meadville ($6.6 million);
  • Resurfacing six miles of I-80 in Mercer County (estimated $14 million);
  • Resurfacing Interstate 79 in McKean and Franklin townships, Erie County (estimated $9.5 million).
  • Replacement of the 715-foot-long West Middlesex Viaduct in West Middlesex Borough, Mercer County ($6.4 million); and
  • Rehabilitation of an existing wall along 1.26 miles of Route 8/62 just south of Oil City in Sugarcreek Borough, Venango County ($4.2 million.)

“Our construction projects are the result of years of planning and coordination between our department, our planning partners, counties, municipalities, school districts and other stakeholders,” Petit said. “We are eager to begin this work that will benefit our region.”

As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers. When encountering a work zone, please drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers and avoid all distractions. In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and are to take turns merging into the open lane.

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 850 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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