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Harrison City-Export Road to close

| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

A change of plans on how to build a bridge along Harrison City-Export Road will save $140,000 and shorten the construction period by about three months, Westmoreland County Engineer Henry Fitz said.

Depending on the weather conditions, the Penn Township road might be closed as early as Monday as construction crews continue work on a project that is on pace to end in August, Fitz said.

The scheduled closure of three to four months is longer than state and county officials initially estimated last year when Mele & Mele & Sons Inc. received a $2.2-million contract for the project.

Under the original plan, local traffic would have been able to drive on the road as crews closed one lane to work on an expanded bridge over a creek near the Route 130 intersection, Fitz said. Toward the end of the project, the road would have been closed for two to three weeks.

But over the course of regular construction meetings, government officials and the contractor decided closing the road was the best course for the project.

“Everyone said, with the money savings and completing the job three months sooner, that it was a win-win situation,” Fitz said.

The road already was closed for a few weeks in late October and early November because of the relocation of a sanitary sewer line and other utilities.

Though Harrison City-Export Road is a heavily traveled route in the township, Penn Township Manager Bruce Light said local officials agreed with the decision to close the road.

At times when the road was open partially during rush hour, vehicles near the Route 130 intersection stacked back to Bushy Run Road in the east and Penn-Trafford High School in the west, he said.

“It just became instant gridlock,” Light said. “It was horrible.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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