The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 7, 2013

Traffic cones sprouting, but PennDOT says most road work is a month away

CRESSON — Orange cones used to redirect traffic turned up on Route 22 outside Cresson this week, but PennDOT said it will be a month or so before widespread traffic slowdowns and delays go into effect region wide.

“This is kind of more of an emergency fix,” said PennDOT spokeswoman Tara Callihan-Henry. “Once the snow clears away, they’ll get started on this.”

The cones, barriers and speed reduction signs are out early on the four-lane highway so crews from CH&D Enterprises of New Stanton can replace expansion dams over the piers on the bridge that carries traffic over the Norfolk Southern Railroad lines.

This week, traffic was reduced to a single lane in the eastbound lane near the Route 53 interchange in Cresson Township.

When the eastbound side is done, crews will move to the westbound side and similar traffic controls will be implemented, Callihan-Henry said.

While the span is not a structurally deficient bridge, the $300,000 worth of work is needed to replace strip seals used in the 2001 bridge.

Lance Eckenrode, PennDOT’s assistant construction engineer for Cambria County, said the partial depth strip seals were used on the span, along with a couple in Somerset County.

The switch from full to partial seals was said to be a dollar savings at the time, but generally last 10 to 15 years. Full strip seals usually last until the deck needs to be rehabilitated, Callihan-Henry said.

Work should be completed by July.

Meanwhile, road and bridge work across the region likely will start in mid to late April, she said.

“We already have a couple under way. This one isn’t the first one,” Callihan-Henry said. “We tend to see a little more in April.”

Contractors are already doing some tree clearing on rights of way and crews are cutting the trees for the $300 million Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale. That phase will be completed by the end of March, she said.

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