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PennDOT to keep focus on repairs

| Saturday, March 16, 2013, 1:11 a.m.

PennDOT will continue focusing on road and bridge repairs, rather than new construction, this construction season in Butler and Armstrong counties, its regional executive says.

Locally, key projects include improvements to Route 356 and Route 28 in Buffalo Township.

Another project of interest this year is construction on Saxonburg's Main Street that will be in keeping with the town's historical character.

District Executive Joseph Dubovi said funding has been flat. But with more attention having been paid to bridge repairs lately, Dubovi said, “We still have to keep doing the bridge work but the roadways are getting worse.”

“We're trying to juggle both,” said Dubovi, who said PennDOT has been using a Band-Aid approach for roads by patching and sealing instead of repaving.

Projects for the Alle-Kiski Valley this construction season include:

• Saxonburg: Construction of new sidewalks, curbing, handicapped-accessible ramps, landscaping and street lighting on Main Street between Pittsburgh Street and North and South Rebecca streets.

The $1.2 million project will be completed by August.

• Route 28 at Exit 17: New traffic signal at the end of the Route 28 ramp at the Butler/Freeport exit and Route 356 in Buffalo Township.

PennDOT is installing the new light because of traffic accidents and back-ups to Route 28, according to Paul Koza, assistant district executive. The project is expected to cost less than $500,000.

• Route 28 near Exit 16: PennDOT will repair a Route 28 southbound bridge in Buffalo Township near the Millers­town Freeport exit (Exit 16) in Harrison.

• Route 356: Traffic signal updates at existing traffic lights on Route 356 in Buffalo Township.

Further down the road

There are other projects planned for 2014-16, but many are not yet budgeted.

Those include:

• Clinton Township: PennDOT wants to change the intersection of Route 228 and Saxonburg Boulevard. The agency plans to improve the “Y” intersection because sight lines are difficult. Also, the update is important for future development in the area, according to Brian Allen, assistant district executive.

The project is state funded but not until 2016, Allen said.

• Winfield: PennDOT wants to replace a bridge on Winfield Road over Little Buffalo Creek. The 33-foot bridge project is expected to cost in the lower range of $1 million to $5 million, according to Allen. Construction money hasn't been approved.

• Buffalo Township: Repave a 4.5-mile section of road from the intersection of Route 228 and Route 356 to Saxonburg Boulevard. The project is not yet funded.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com.

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