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PennDOT to resume work on Bethel Park intersection

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Construction on a major intersection in Bethel Park will resume April 1, but this year should be better than the last in terms of detours, officials said this week.

PennDOT will resume its $3.9 million project to widen and reconstruct the intersection of Broughton and Baptist roads.

By widening the road and adding left-turn lanes to each leg of the intersection, PennDOT hopes to alleviate congestion that would build as drivers used the intersection to traverse the South Hills, said Heath Butler, assistant construction engineer for PennDOT.

“Having grown up and lived in that area, I can attest to the congestion at that intersection,” Butler said. About 28,000 vehicles pass through it on an average day.

Starting at about 7 a.m. April 1 and lasting until the fall, eastbound Broughton Road will be closed between Paxton and Sansue drives, and westbound traffic on Broughton will be reduced to a single lane in the same area.

Traffic may be shifted from one side of Broughton to the other over the summer as crews work on each side of the road, Butler said.

But unlike last year, all of Baptist Road will remain open through the construction area, said PennDOT District 11 spokesman Jim Struzzi. Work to widen Baptist was completed last year; this year's construction will focus on improving Broughton Road, he said.

Jim “Duke” Sims, owner of Duke's Station on Baptist Road, said last year's closures, along with the 2008 closure of Baptist Road north of his restaurant for a bridge replacement project, were hard on his business.

“When they're going out to eat, people want to be able to go there directly, sit down to eat, and go home directly,” Sims said. “It's hurt us in every way possible.”

The official detour for eastbound Broughton Road sends drivers north on Route 88 to eastbound Route 51, then south down Curry Hollow Road to where it turns into Broughton Road.

The intersection of Route 51 and Library Road is scheduled for its own reconstruction work starting in June, but that work should not affect traffic coming up Library Road until next year, Butler said.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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