Open house set in Norvelt for Route 981 roadwork |

Open house set in Norvelt for Route 981 roadwork

Jeff Himler
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A truck makes a tight turn from Marguerite Road onto Route 130 West, at the intersection of routes 981 and 130 in Pleasant Unity, on Friday, May 12, 2017.

PennDOT’s preferred draft concept for proposed realignment and improvement of the Route 981 corridor between the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport and Mt. Pleasant Township will have a public airing during a July 26 open house.

Citizens will have the opportunity to review and offer feedback on the latest plan for the Laurel Valley Transportation Improvement Project from 5 to 7 p.m. at Norvelt’s Roosevelt Hall, 2325 Mt. Pleasant Road.

The plan divides the 11-mile corridor into three segments, from north to south, that combine parts of four previous alignment concepts and can be constructed in phases.

Troy Pritts, project manager for PennDOT, said construction is expected to occur first on the southernmost segment. That section stretches from Route 819 north to Norvelt, closely following existing Route 981 while improving some curves where motorists have been injured in wrecks.

A circular intersection, or roundabout, is among options being considered for the junction of 981 with Hecla, Mt. Pleasant and Kecksburg roads in Norvelt, said John Petulla, project manager for engineering consultant McCormick Taylor.

From there, Pritts said, the realigned road would follow an old trolley right of way before joining Route 2023, which it would follow north to Route 130. The northernmost segment would reconnect with Route 981 south of the airport.

The realigned corridor would avoid downtown Pleasant Unity, where sharp turns are a challenge for trucks, but the village still could be accessed via Route 130, Petulla has said.

About $68 million is budgeted for construction of the project, with work on the first phase tentatively slated for 2024, Pritts said.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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