The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

June 17, 2014

Traffic tie-ups merge: Thunder in the Valley, road projects may cause delays

JOHNSTOWN — When the tens of thousands of motorcycles and other vehicles roar into town next week they will find closed bridges, roadways and some detours.

Much of the inconvenience will be the result of long overdue PennDOT projects and, of lesser impact, the sewer upgrades in progress through some parts of the city.

The construction projects and detours are things the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau has been watching and attempting to address, said Lisa Rager, executive director.

“We’re going to put information on our website and social media pages,” Rager said. “It’s something that is unavoidable.”

Most impacted will be areas in the West End and the Frankstown Road area, said PennDOT spokesman Anthony Scalia. He said there is not a lot PennDOT can do to minimize the inconvenience.

“Because the projects are already started, the work will continue as planned,” he said. “We realize it’s an inconvenience, but it will be for a lasting fix.”

Areas most impacted are:

• Strayer Street improvements.

• Fairfield Avenue resurfacing to routes 56 and 403.

• Broad Street.

• Frankstown Road wall construction and road resurfacing from Adams Street to Vogel Street.

• Hickory Street Bridge.

While the ongoing construction of wastewater collection lines continues, the impact on the visitors and the Thunder weekend should be minimal, said Darby Sprincz, Johnstown’s public works director.

“Most of it is residential areas,” he said.

Contractors, as of Monday, were working in the Roxbury and 8th Ward areas, he said.

Calling a halt to the work is not being considered because of tight contracts under which the utility company workers are operating.

“They have a specific amount of days to get the work done,” Sprincz said.

At this point, the only day that crews will be working on the system during the Thunder weekend is the first day, Thursday. If past practice holds true, they will not be working Friday, Sprincz said.

Meanwhile, PennDOT is asking everyone to allow for extra time, especially because of the detour around the Hickory Street Bridge project and other projects where traffic stops are controlled by a highway flag team.

Rager said her staff will continue to do all they can to get the word out, especially to the entertainment groups that sometimes run on tight schedules.

“We’re telling people that there is a lot of construction going on,” she said. “They need to allow for extra time and be patient traveling through the construction areas.”

Kathy Mellott covers transportation issues for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at mellotttd.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Report: Local jobless rate up in June

    A report released Tuesday by the Department of Labor and Industry showed an increase in unemployment locally from 6.4 to 7.1 percent in June.

    July 29, 2014

  • Detroit dealer admits role in Johnstown heroin ring, could face life in prison

    For more than a year, Kenneth “Kane” Carter ran his drug ring like a fine-tuned business, federal prosecutors said following his 2012 indictment.

    July 29, 2014

  • Police: Women stole thousands from elderly sisters, used money to show St. Bernards

    Two western Pennsylvania women have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from two elderly sisters and using the money to attend dog shows.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads