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Route 65 work causing few serious traffic issues

Bobby Cherry
| Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, 1:49 p.m.

Drivers might be accustomed to lane closures, detours and road crews along much of Route 65 between Ambridge and Pittsburgh, but despite all of the work, officials say it has been mostly smooth sailing.

"Traffic seems to be moving well, and we are working at night to minimize impacts," PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi said of the many construction projects stretching the main artery along the Ohio River.

On Monday, overnight paving work began between Sewickley and Ambridge, which is forcing drivers to one lane from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily from about Chestnut Street in Sewickley to First Street in Ambridge. That project continues through October.

Added to the paving project is the ongoing Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge closure that uses the Sewickley Bridge as its main detour.

Aside from some, heavier-than-usual traffic during peak rush hour times, Sewickley manager Kevin Flannery said the borough has received no complaints about any of the projects.

When the $16.6 million Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge project began in March, borough officials had worried that traffic on local streets surrounding the bridge could increase.

In addition to the work around Sewickley, crews also have been paving Route 65 in Emsworth between Camp Horne Road and Terrace Drive. Work on Tuesday was expected to cause some daytime delays because southbound Route 65 traffic turning left onto Camp Horne Road used the same lane as inbound drivers.

That project began several weeks ago. The work in Emsworth will continue while paving and draining improvements begin in Sewickley.

The overnight work in Sewickley shouldn't have many complications, Struzzi said.

"It'll be minimal being that it's overnight," he said. "And it's not closed, it's just restricted."

Sewickley Mayor Brian Jeffe said in "the whole scheme of things, it's short-term.

"We have yet to feel how bad that will impact us because they're just getting ready to start now," he said.

About 20,350 vehicles pass through the area daily, but Struzzi stressed that number is a bit misleading in the context of the overnight paving work.

"That's mostly during the day during peak periods," he said. "So it's going to be significantly less overnight."

Tribune-Review News Service Staff writers Megan Guza and Tom Fontaine contributed to this story.

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