Meadville Tribune

Local News

May 11, 2014

If funding comes, Park Avenue work could happen sooner

MEADVILLE — A resurfacing of a major portion of Park Avenue in Meadville may be added to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation construction schedule in Crawford County this year — if emergency funding comes through.

Motorists may be happy to know resurfacing of most of Park Avenue already is scheduled for 2015, but it could move up to this year, according to PennDOT.

“We’re hoping to get emergency funding from Harrisburg,” said Brian Yedinak, PennDOT’s assistant district executive for design. “We should know within the next couple of weeks.”

Yedinak’s remarks came during a meeting last week at the Vernon Township Building between officials from PennDOT District 1 headquarters in Oil City and municipal government officials from throughout Crawford County. PennDOT outlined its maintenance and improvement plans scheduled for the next few years.

Park Avenue, which is a state road, is one of the main streets in the city.

PennDOT has scheduled a 1.62-mile section of Park Avenue, from Linden Street north to Allegheny Street for milling and repaving at a estimated cost of $1 million. The section runs through much of the downtown business district.

Some minor repaving work already was done this week on Park Avenue, near Wood Street, but it is a residential area north of the main project.

For Joe Chriest, Meadville’s city manager, resurfacing Park Avenue just can’t come soon enough.

“It’s a mine field,” Chriest said of Park Avenue’s current pothole condition. “Getting it done this year would be great for us and motorists.”

The city plows snow on Park Avenue for PennDOT, but the potholes caused by the harsh winter are hard on both city and public vehicles.

“It just beats the heck out of our equipment,” Chriest said. “Also, it puts an extra (traffic) load on other city streets and alleys as people look to take a different route.”

While Park Avenue will be resurfaced this year or next, another $12 million worth of PennDOT road improvement projects are set for this construction season by PennDOT.

The biggest one is the continuation of the North Street improvement project to rehabilitate and improve intersections along North Street/Route 27 from Water Street to State Street at a cost of $6.78 million. This year, reconstruction on North Street is between North Main and State streets. Last year, work was from Water to North Main streets.

There are two major resurfacing projects set to begin on Monday at a total cost of $2.6 million. One is on Route 285 from the borough of Conneaut Lake, east to Route 19 in Sadsbury, East Fallowfield and Greenwood townships; and the second is on Route 322 from the border of West Mead and East Fairfield townships, east to Harvey Road in East Fairfield Township.

The contractor for the work on Route 322 and Route 285 is Sharon Paving and Construction Co. of Sharpsville. The contract cost is $2,623,862, which is to be paid entirely with state funds. Work is scheduled for completion by the end of July.

No detours are anticipated for the work on Route 322 and Route 285, but traffic will be reduced to a single lane and controlled by flaggers during the work day.

The borough of Cochranton will have a major resurfacing project as well with a resurfacing of Franklin Street from Route 322 in East Fairfield Township east to Route 173 within the borough. The project is estimated at $620,000.

PennDOT has three bridge projects set for this year with one, removal of the Peters Road Bridge over the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad tracks in Woodcock Township, already under way. The $1.1 million project is removing the Peters Road bridge and replacing it with a standard railroad crossing on Peters Road, just north of Saegertown. The Peters Road Bridge was closed several years ago due to safety concerns.

The other bridge projects are rehabilitating a bridge on East Lake Road over a Shenango River tributary in South Shenango Township at an estimated cost of $420,000; and removal of the Hamill Road Bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks in Union Township and rebuilding Taylor Road at an estimated cost of $600,000.

PennDOT also is looking to repair or replace downtown streetlight poles and fixtures within the City of Titusville for about $420,000.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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