Widening of Route 30 could cost over $100M, PennDOT says |

Widening of Route 30 could cost over $100M, PennDOT says

Joe Napsha
Traffic moves along Route 30 in North Huntingdon as an overpass carries traffic along the the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A 5.5-mile stretch of heavily traveled Route 30 from Irwin to Route 48 in North Versailles could be widened to improve safety as part of an ambitious project the state says will likely cost more than $100 million.

The design also includes concrete barriers to divide opposing lanes and nine jug-handle turnarounds at key intersections.

The preliminary design plans for the revamped Route 30, which is traveled by 20,000 to 26,000 vehicles daily, were unveiled Thursday during an open house at Norwin High School.

The project is designed to make the road safer and cut down on the number of crashes, said Rachel Duda, assistant district engineer for PennDOT’s District 12 in Uniontown. The majority of the accidents in the area have been rear-end collisions and T-bone collisions caused by vehicles turning into traffic.

Mike Turley, North Huntingdon assistant manager, said the township was concerned about the impact the barriers would have on businesses. Customers are accustomed to turning at a store, rather than driving down the road to turn around.

“We’re still pondering what we are seeing in the design,” Turley said.

While the median barriers dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes are the preferred design for safety reasons, Duda said she was aware of business concerns.

“We’re not in the business of putting them out of business,” Duda said.

What PennDOT is proposing along the stretch of highway is similar to the improvements made along Route 22 from Delmont to Murrysville. That business district, she said, continues to thrive. Traffic signals would adapt to the flow of traffic, rather than cycle.

Irwin Councilwoman Debbie Kelly said she was concerned with a proposal to create a connector between Route 30 in Irwin and Pennsylvania Avenue by slicing through a section of Irwin Park.

The connector would cut into a little-used section of the park, said Scott Thompson-Graves, project manager for the Whitman, Requardt and Associates of Cranberry, the consulting engineer for the project. The suggestion came from previous public input, Thompson-Graves said.

The preliminary engineering for the project is about to begin, at which time the preliminary design will be refined.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.