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Mayor: Lower Burrell will save $1 million on Leechburg Road project

Matthew Medsger
| Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, 7:24 p.m.
Orange cones and signs directing motorists to change lanes line Leechburg Road on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, as construction continues in Lower Burrell.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Orange cones and signs directing motorists to change lanes line Leechburg Road on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, as construction continues in Lower Burrell.
Dominic Greco, 57, of Matcon Diamond Construction, works on finishing the concrete curbs along Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Dominic Greco, 57, of Matcon Diamond Construction, works on finishing the concrete curbs along Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.
Orange cones line Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell as construction continues on Tuesday Oct. 3, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Orange cones line Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell as construction continues on Tuesday Oct. 3, 2017.

An agreement over the Leechburg Road project between PennDOT and the city of Lower Burrell will save the municipality more than $1 million, according to the mayor.

The project, a road reclamation taking place between Craigdell Road and the Route 56 Bypass, is expected to continue through June 2018.

Last week, the city announced that the project had been expanded to include replacement of the curbs and sidewalks along the southern portion of Leechburg Road.

Mayor Richard Callender said the city and PennDOT came to an agreement over who should replace the curbs and sidewalks that will prevent the city from damaging the soon-to-be-replaced road when the sidewalks inevitably require repair.

“They originally didn't include the sidewalk. But when I asked them whether they wanted to rip up our curbs after we replace them, or for us to rip up the road when the time comes, they expanded the scope of the project,” he said.

The $5 million project now includes replacing the curbs and sidewalks and installation of Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps.

Any lawn and yard reclamation on private property following construction with be paid for by PennDOT, Callender said.

The cost to the city, had it been forced to replace the curbs and sidewalks after the road work is complete, would have been more than $1 million, Callender said.

Overnight lane restrictions on the busy road have been and will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until next summer, according to PennDOT Project Manager James Kettering, who says about 15,000 cars typically use the road every day.

When the project began, Kettering and Callender said that the work being done would be conducted in such a way as to minimize the impact to local businesses.

According to Sandra Cimino, the manager of Nicola Mazziotti Bakery, the mayor and officials have been true to their word.

“We really haven't seen a problem,” she said. “Even when they were right in front of the store, traffic still moved just fine. Haven't had any complaints.”

A-K Music owner Vince Ruffini agreed, but cautioned that the real work hasn't begun yet.

“It's been nice to see some of the potholes gone, but the real work hasn't started yet. We haven't had a traffic issue, but we'll see once they really start ripping up the road,” he said.

So far, the majority of the work on Leechburg Road has been preparatory in nature, with underground utility work having already occurred but road milling and resurfacing still to come.

The contractor for the work is Latrobe-based Derry Construction Co.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675, mmedsger@tribweb.com or via Twitter @matthew_medsger.

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