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Road work booms in Harmar

Motorists trying to make their way to Pittsburgh through the lower Allegheny Valley during the next two months should expect delays due to four construction projects underway.

The major bottleneck is in Harmar, where PennDOT is reconstructing a segment of Route 910, as well as portions of Freeport Road and Pearl Avenue.

Route 910 is a key link for drivers headed toward the Pennsylvania Turnpike or to Oakmont via the Hulton Bridge.

Pearl Avenue connects the Allegheny Valley Expressway at Exit 12 (Springdale/Cheswick) with Freeport Road.

Usually, an effective way to bypass construction-related traffic through Harmar is to take Route 28 instead.

But now, drivers headed southbound at night on the expressway may also be in for delays near the Butler-Logan Road overpass between Exits 12 and 13 (Russellton/Creighton).

Work is beginning there on the construction of a new interchange for the Pittsburgh Mills retail development, which will necessitate lane restrictions, according to PennDOT officials.

Here’s a more detailed look at what motorists can expect as a result of each of these projects:

  • Route 910 project: PennDOT is reconstructing Route 910 from the Allegheny Valley Expressway to Freeport Road, a $3 million project scheduled for completion in late November.

    The work, which began July 21, includes expressway ramp reconstruction, curb replacement and traffic signal updates.

    Turning lanes are open between morning (6-9 a.m.) and afternoon (3-6 p.m.) rush hours. During work hours, Route 910 is reduced to one lane in each direction, with crews digging up the center of the road.

    Business entrances along Route 910 won’t be affected by the construction, according to PennDOT.

    The primary contractor for this project is John Gulisek Construction Co. based in Mount Pleasant.

  • Pearl Avenue upgrade:

    This road paving project began Tuesday and is scheduled to end Oct. 31.

    PennDOT is updating the drainage systems along Pearl Avenue, as well as milling and paving the roadway.

    Traffic will be restricted daily to an alternating lane of traffic between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    The work zone begins where Freeport Road intersects with Pearl Avenue and continues about a half-mile up the hill to just beyond Acmetonia Primary School.

    Flaggers will be on site to control traffic patterns, according to PennDOT officials.

  • Freeport Road resurfacing: Drivers are restricted to a single lane in each direction on Freeport Road between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    Contractor A. Folino Construction Inc. of Oakmont began milling and paving operations there last Friday.

    The roughly mile-long work zone begins at the Harmar Township Municipal Building and ends at the intersection with Low Grade Road.

    Starting next Monday, the lane restrictions will be imposed during the day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    During this time, the contractor will perform curb and drainage work.

    PennDOT officials expect this project to be finished by Oct. 31.

    Together with the Pearl Avenue upgrade, it will cost the state $2.45 million to complete.

  • Route 28 expressway at Frazer: Starting next Monday, motorists traveling on Route 28 between Exits 12 and 13 will be limited each night to a single lane in each direction, according to PennDOT.

    The traffic restrictions are being imposed as developer The Mills Corp. prepares for the construction of a new interchange to Pittsburgh Mills, a $285 million shopping-and-entertaining complex under construction in Frazer. The mall is scheduled to open in spring 2005.

    Until Oct. 27, one lane in each direction on Route 28 will close nightly from Exit 12 to 2.6 miles north, PennDOT officials said.

    The $21 million interchange project consists of building a modified diamond ramp system for exiting and entering the mall from the southbound lane of Route 28.

    A more complicated ramp system in the northbound lane will be shaped like a trumpet. Traffic will move around the horn to exit and will enter by turning on to a new roadway tentatively named Mills Boulevard.

    To accommodate these new ramps, about 2,100 feet of Tawney Run Road will have to be moved.

    Within the next few weeks, Tawney Run Road will be closed between Butler-Logan and Yutes Run roads in Frazer, according to Mills spokesman Ramsey Meiser.

    This closure will last anywhere from nine months to a year, and drivers will use Yutes Run Road as a detour, Meiser said.


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