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PennDOT to spend more in Fayette, Westmoreland counties

Joe Napsha
GTRPennDotWork040814
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
A view of the bridge that will be worked on by Penn Dot taken from the Main Street and Tunnel Street intersection in downtown Greensburg.

The state is primed to pump approximately $33.8 million in additional money into highway and bridge projects in Fayette and Westmoreland counties this year with revenue generated from higher fees paid by motorists.

PennDOT said it would use the revenue from Act 89 to make about 59 miles of improvements to 12 roads in both counties.

In Westmoreland, 40 miles of improvements are planned to Routes 66, 119, 130, 356, 381, 819, 981 and 993 in Allegheny, Donegal, Hempfield, Loyalhanna, North Huntingdon, Penn, Salem, Unity and Washington townships, as well as Greensburg, Jeannette, Irwin, Manor and Trafford.

Those projects are estimated to cost $10.5 million.

In Fayette County, the state anticipates allocating about $5.5 million in Act 89 funds to make roadway improvements to 18.5 miles of Routes 40, 51, 88 and 119.

PennDOT’s District 12, which covers Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington and Greene counties, will do 12 highway and bridge projects in the counties this year, at an estimated cost of $61.2 million, because of the Act 89 funding, the state said. Sixty-two highway and bridge projects worth an estimated $200 million are expected to be awarded this year in the four-county region.

Act 89, which lawmakers passed last year, raised revenue by increasing fees by 100 percent for identification cards and duplicate driver licenses, a more than 100 percent hike in title certificates and certified records, and more modest hikes in car, truck and motorcycle registration fees.

It is expected to generate an extra $1.65 billion annually by fiscal year 2017-18 for highway and bridge projects. In four years, the fee increases are projected to raise an extra $220 million annually in liquid fuels revenue that local governments use for road and bridge projects, according to the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, a 400-member trade group of highway contractors, consulting engineers and roadway material suppliers.

The state expects to spend about $10.5 million in Act 89 revenue to repair the rock fall area along Route 906 between Monessen and Webster, Webster Road, and the Vance Dei Cas Highway and the ramps to it.

PennDOT plans to repair cracks in the abutments and beams on the Main Street bridge that carries Business Route 66 over the Norfolk Southern Corp. railway tracks in Greensburg, said Chad Kezmarsky, the senior civil engineer for bridge design at PennDOT’s District 12 office near Uniontown.

Elsewhere, the state plans to repair cracks in the abutment and piers of the Scottdale-Everson Bridge, and coat the bridge deck with a sealant, Kezmarsky said.

The concrete approaches to the bridge on the Scottdale and Everson sides will be replaced.

The Greensburg and Scottdale bridge projects are estimated to cost $1.57 million. The contracts are expected to be awarded this summer.

The replacement of the bridge on Route 119 over a branch of Jacks Run in Crabtree is estimated to cost $915,000.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].

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