Reconstruction to start on Allegheny River Boulevard in Oakmont
Reconstruction of Allegheny River Boulevard, from James Street in Verona to College Avenue in Oakmont, is scheduled to begin tonight and run through mid-September.
Motorists will face one-lane, alternating traffic from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays until Sept. 13 as Derry Construction Co. crews work on the 4,300-foot stretch of road.
The Latrobe-based contractors will close the road in Oakmont from Plum Avenue to College Avenue over the first two weekends of August to replace the brick roadway and adjacent concrete, according to Derry construction superintendent Steve Matko.
Detours will be in place from Friday at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday, and again at the same times from Aug. 9 to Aug. 12.
PennDOT's official detour is designed to accommodate large trucks and use as many state roads as possible, said PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan.
Cowan acknowledges that the official detour, which takes traffic through Penn Hills, is “a pretty confusing route.”
Most motorists likely will try local streets that will make the detour significantly shorter and more direct.
“We encourage individuals who are familiar with the area to explore easier routes to bypass the work zone on those weekends,” he said.
The official detour will direct northbound motorists coming toward Verona to turn right onto Sandy Creek Road (Route 130) in Penn Hills. From there, they will turn left on Verona Road before bearing right onto Saltsburg Road.
Motorists will then turn left on Hulton Road and follow that into Plum until it runs into Allegheny River Boulevard on the opposite end of the construction.
Those approaching the work site from Oakmont will follow the same path in the reverse direction.
Aside from replacing the brick road and concrete in the block between Plum and College avenues, Derry Construction crews will expand and improve the road's drainage system, Matko said.
Oakmont residents like Rod Costak, 59, who lives in the 100 block of Allegheny River Boulevard, are pleased to see the incessant flooding issues along that strip being addressed.
“The road gets really bad in the heavy rain,” he said. “You might as well go out there with a rubber ducky sometimes.”
Derry Construction Co. president Rich Hudock said he expects the region's rainy July weather to continue through August, which could extend the contractor's completion date beyond Sept. 13.
“We can't seem to get out in front of the rain,” he said. “We've been delayed all summer. That's why we're addressing the excavation and replacement area first.”
Some business owners and managers in the weekend closure area are concerned that the work might adversely affect business. A Rite Aid daytime manager named Kate, who would not give her last name, said she anticipates a drop in sales.
“It's definitely going to have an impact,” she said. “Even though people can enter the parking lot from Plum Avenue, and Oakmont residents know how to get around it, we're going to miss all of those people passing through.
“But I do think it's a positive thing at the end of the day. The road needs it.”
The Oakmont Rite Aid is at Plum Avenue and Allegheny River Boulevard.
Matko said the sidewalks will remain open and the work areas will maintain full pedestrian accessibility during the construction.
Other businesses in the closed block are Oakmont Dental Associates, Dr. Richard DeFilippo Dentistry and East Coast Tanning.
Calls made to the dentistry offices and East Coast Tanning went unanswered.
Oakmont Borough Manager Lisa Cooper Jensen declined comment.
Verona work will follow
Once the excavation and road replacement on the north end is complete, Hudock said Derry crews will push south into Verona. The workers will mill, repave and paint the roads.
The bridge that connects Oakmont and Verona, known as the Roger F. Duffy Viaduct, will be reinforced and given a new concrete overlay as part of the $700,000 project.
The maintenance on Allegheny River Boulevard is the fourth and final component of a $3 million PennDOT initiative called the Allegheny Group Project.
Tony Futules, 65, is a Verona councilman who sits on the borough's street committee. He believes the road repair was an unnecessary project and a devolution of state politics.
“(PennDOT) allocate(s) a certain amount of money each year from the state budget, and if there's a surplus at the end of the year, they subtract that amount from the next year's state budget,” he said. “It's just politics. It's how they keep the economy circulating and people at work.”
Cowan's response: “If we're contracted projects, it's being done out of necessity. It's getting done because it needs to get done.”
Futules said the borough has never received a resident complaint regarding the state of Allegheny River Boulevard. He does not expect the road work and consequent detours to cause any safety issues.
Verona Police will be on standby to assist Derry Construction crews with directing traffic.
“We don't anticipate any issues,” said Ron McLemore, Verona police chief. “As long as drivers, especially trucks, watch their speeds through the detour routes, it'll be fine.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 3 charged in East Deer home invasion
- Authorities investigating grocery store robberies Plum, Monroeville
- 4 plead guilty to charges of luring, beating man at Harrison gas station
- Return of Verona’s Doughboy statue delayed
- Bed and breakfast proposed at former Liperote Mansion in South Buffalo Township
- Monroeville man charged with bad-check racket
- Oakmont avoids tax increase, but garbage, recycling fees to rise
- Shooting victim identified by New Kensington police as man hit in summer
- Springdale Free Public Library to pay utilities, but no rent
- Final phase of Leechburg’s sewer separation project delayed
- Be a Santa to a Senior delivers joy to nursing home residents in Oakmont