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End of I-70 interchange project planned in New Stanton

Joe Napsha
| Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, 5:21 p.m.
Traffic cruises on Interstate 70 past the nearly completed interchange construction at the New Stanton and Hunker exit on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 in New Stanton.  PennDOT's $53.7 million Interstate 70 New Stanton Interchange Project is nearing completion.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Traffic cruises on Interstate 70 past the nearly completed interchange construction at the New Stanton and Hunker exit on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 in New Stanton. PennDOT's $53.7 million Interstate 70 New Stanton Interchange Project is nearing completion.

State and local officials will celebrate the completion of the New Stanton interchange project along Interstate 70 on Tuesday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at the New Stanton Fire Department parking lot on South Main Street.

The $53.7 million project took about a month longer to finish than earlier estimated but still is about a year ahead of the October 2018 time line that PennDOT initially projected.

Contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. of Russelton ran into problems with an unstable base of the highway bed, which was not found until the asphalt base was removed.

The construction that began in 2015 included closing two closely spaced New Stanton and Hunker interchanges and building a new interchange that opened in late February.

During the project, traffic through the construction zone between the New Stanton interchange and the Pennsylvania Turnpike was funneled into two outside lanes in both directions.

PennDOT touts the diamond interchanges with the roundabouts at the ramp intersections as being safer. The state said studies showed a 90 percent drop in fatal crashes and 75 percent drop in accidents causing injuries, compared to an intersection with a traffic signal.

As part of the project, a pedestrian bridge over I-70 west of the turnpike ramp was removed. A bridge carrying Center Avenue over the interstate was torn down as well.

The heavily traveled highway was widened for almost 2 miles.

In addition to four lanes for through traffic, the new highway will have two designated lanes for vehicles entering and exiting the turnpike.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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