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Paving project begins in Mon City

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:06 a.m.
A road sign warns of a road project on Route 88 in Monongahela set to begin Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
A road sign warns of a road project on Route 88 in Monongahela set to begin Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

Gary Lenzi first learned of the road project expected to begin Wednesday outside his business when he received a call from Mayor Bob Kepics.

Landslide repair work will be conducted on a section of Main Street in Monongahela between Park Avenue and Railroad Street – directly in front of Lenzi's Service Station.

Weather permitting, the project is expected to take a week to complete.

From 6:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. daily, southbound motorists will be detoured via Park Avenue and Coyle Curtin Road.

One lane of Route 88 will be open for motorists traveling from Carroll Township or from the Allegheny County/Westmoreland County side of the Monongahela Bridge.

Traffic coming from the city will be stopped at Park Avenue.

“No one's going to be able to go out of town. That's going to be devastating to me,” Lenzi said.

“That's supposed to be for five days. That probably means eight for the state. That's a long time for my business.”

For northbound traffic, there are two lanes – one a turning lane onto Railroad Street.

Lenzi questioned why the state isn't using those two lanes to permit traffic in both directions for a week.

“The mayor called me (Monday) and said, ‘I just found out they're going to shut it down.' If not for the mayor of Monongahela, I would not have known.”

Lenzi estimated the temporary closure will reduce his business by half.

“Hopefully, people will go around or postpone their repairs until after the (road) repairs are done,” Lenzi said.

PennDOT is rebuilding the washed out hillside by the railroad tracks along Pigeon Creek.

Lenzi said crews were out over the winter drilling to check the foundation.

He said that if crews remove loose cement between the north and southbound lanes, it will be beneficial because big chunks of cement kick onto his property daily.

The project is going to temporarily change transit service for Monongahela and New Eagle riders.

It will not affect service from the Valley to Pittsburgh.

However, service from Pittsburgh to Monongahela will utilize the detour that involves state Route 481 and Coyle Curtin Road. It will eliminate all bus stops between Park Avenue and Coyle Curtin, most notably the Fisher Heights Giant Eagle.

The Valley 1 service – connecting New Eagle and Monongahela with Donora and the Rostraver Township shopping plaza – won't make stops in Monongahela or New Eagle.

The bus line's last pickup will be in a lot near the former Roberts Auto Body in Monongahela.

PennDOT District 12 spokeswoman Valerie Petersen said the state is completing the slide project before a major paving project makes its way to Monongahela.

This summer, 23 miles of Route 88 from Union Township to California is being paved.

The project is primarily contiguous in nature, except for bridges or isolated areas that have been recently paved.

Lindy Paving will handle the work, which is a part of a $15 million contract that includes paving improvements to state routes 136, 481 and 980.

“Typically, roads need to be resurfaced after a time of use,” Petersen said. “But this last winter was a challenging one, and we had a lot of potholes reported across the district.”

Petersen said motorists should plan for delays. Paving work is currently being conducted in Finleyville.

“If motorists can have patience with our crews, when it's completed they will enjoy it,” Petersen said.

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

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