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New money fuels road work in Valley

Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Parts of Route 88 between Monongahela and Carroll Township have been closed due to potholes and deterioating road surface are on Penndot's list of road repairs on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

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Friday, April 4, 2014, 12:51 a.m.

In the wake of one of the worst winters in recent history, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation now has the means to attack a huge number of potholes.

PennDOT District 12 also plans to use additional money provided by the state's new transportation bill to attack some of the worst roadway conditions in its coverage area: Washington, Westmoreland, Fayette and Greene counties.

The transportation bill, signed into law in November by Gov. Tom Corbett, removed the 12-cent-per-gallon retail gas tax, but uncapped the Oil Company Franchise Tax.

Opponents of the legislation indicated the gas tax could rise by 28 cents per gallon over the life of the five-year bill. PennDOT has maintained that makes assumptions on the wholesale price of gas over the final two years of the law.

PennDOT Thursday released a list of statewide projects it will pay for with the new money.

In District 12, Act 89 dollars will target approximately 138 miles of surface improvements in the four counties.

“PennDOT District 12 has plans under way for repairing the damage caused by the severe winter season that occurred throughout our district,” District Engineer Joe Szczur said. “Without a valiant effort by the governor and the Legislature, this would not have been possible.”

In Washington County alone, PennDOT will undertake 56 miles of road resurfacing at a cost of $14.5 million. The work will include portions of routes 88 and 136 through just about every Valley municipality along those state roads.

Repairs are slated for state Route 906 in the Webster section of Rostraver Township and on the ramps to the Vance DeiCas Highway in Rostraver, comprising 2.83 miles at an estimated cost of $10.5 million.

The costs are based on PennDOT estimates and pending bids, District 12 spokeswoman Valerie Petersen said.

“There's been a lot of projects that we wanted to accomplish but didn't have the fiscal means to do,” Petersen said. “Now that we have the fiscal means, we're pulling on the projects we have ready to do.

“They are ones we knew we had to get to but didn't have the funds to do so.”

The list of projects for District 11 in Allegheny County includes a roughly $6 million project to resurface a 4.3-mile section of Route 51 from the Elizabeth Bridge north to Coal Valley Road in Jefferson Hills.

The work is scheduled to begin this summer and stretch into early 2015. The work will take place at night and on weekends, with one lane of traffic maintained in each direction.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or



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