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Delays push turning lanes project back at Route 8, Duncan

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Expect construction to start next spring — not sooner, as hoped by local officials — on new turning lanes at Route 8 and Duncan Avenue in Hampton.

“It's been delayed,” Hampton manager Chris Lochner said about the traffic-improvement project.

The project calls for the widening of Route 8 and Duncan Avenue at the intersection to accommodate new turning lanes for motorists on both roads.

Lochner reported the project's anticipated delay at the March 12 meeting of Hampton Council.

The new turning lanes are part of $4 million package of flood-mitigation and traffic-improvement projects planned at the intersection.

Lochner said township engineers recently met with representatives of utility firms affected by the road-widening project, including Verizon, Comcast and Duquesne Light Co., who expect to need about six months, beginning in May, to relocate their wires so PennDOT can begin widening Route 8 and Duncan Avenue.

Hampton and PennDOT officials plan to name a contractor for the project on May 8.

After that date, the utility firms might take six months to relocate their respective wires before the yet-to-be-selected contractor can start constructing the new turning lanes.

“The hope was that it could be done in 60 days,” Lochner said about the utilities' relocation.

“PennDOT cannot mandate a timetable for the utilities to relocate,” Lochner said. “However, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, in the past, has defined the time frame as six months.”

If the utility companies take the six months traditionally allowed for the relocation work, the lane building could begin Nov. 8.

But that's about the same date that PennDOT annually halts all of its road projects, Lochner said.

“I don't see how this project will be completed in 2014,” Lochner said.

Lochner now expects PennDOT to finish building the new turning lanes at Route 8 and Duncan Avenue by late spring or early summer 2015.

In other road news, the construction of new turning lanes at Route 8 and Hardies Road in Hampton is set to begin March 24.

“The contractor is Frank J. Zottola Construction Inc.,” said PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan.

Deborah Deasy is a staff reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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