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Saxonburg Boulevard bridge replacement slated to get under way

| Saturday, July 6, 2013, 11:57 p.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
A car crosses the Saxonburg Road bridge over Deer Creek near the Turnpike overpass in Indiana Township on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. The bridge will be closed starting Monday so PennDOT can replace the bridge.

More road work is going to have drivers in Indiana Township looking for detours.

Weather permitting, PennDOT plans to close Saxonburg Boulevard where it crosses Deer Creek on Monday.

Workers with Mekis Construction Corp. of Fenelton will be replacing the bridge there. The $1.3 million project also includes new approaches, guide rail, fencing and other improvements on Saxonburg Boulevard between Fossil Ridge Road and the entrance to Eichenlaub Landscaping and Independence Excavating.

Saxonburg Boulevard will be closed in the bridge area around the clock from 9 a.m. Monday through late August.

About 5,500 vehicles use that area of Saxonburg Boulevard on an average day.

The township has been hit hard with traffic tangles this year, with a portion of Route 910 — the most-heavily traveled road in the township — closed through October. Crews are replacing what is known as the Route 910 east bridge near the lower end of Blue Run in conjunction with the widening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike below.

Another major project has caused tie-ups near Rich Hill Road, which is under construction for the next year. That project also is connected to turnpike work. Vehicles are limited to alternating single-lane traffic through May.

Still more work will start on Friday. Blue Run Road at Route 910 will be closed to traffic on weekends through Oct. 4.

Local traffic will be routed to Indianola Road, which township Manager Dan Anderson said is already being used as a detour for the Route 910 closure, which began in the winter.

“It already has increased traffic volume, and now there's going to be added cars pulling onto that road,” Anderson said. “It's a busy location now.”

Anderson said there have been problems with trucks going off posted detour routes and using roads not meant for such traffic.

Anderson said tractor-trailers are prohibited on Blue Run Road beyond Angel's Distributing.

Anderson said residents can expect to navigate detours for at least the next few years while the $200 million Pennsylvania Turnpike project plays out.

Scheduled over six years, the turnpike will be widened between the Butler Valley and the Allegheny Valley interchanges, and a total of six bridges that carry traffic through the township will be replaced.

Work to replace the Route 910 west bridge is expected to start in February; the middle bridge will be done in 2015, Anderson said.

“Unfortunately, we have the distinction of being the township with the most turnpike crossings affected by the widening project west of Harrisburg,” Anderson said. “We're going to see our fair share of closures for the next four years.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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