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Hulton Bridge replacement tops project list

| Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, 3:26 p.m.
Consulting Engineers workers power-wash and inspect the Hulton Bridge on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

About $150 million will be spent on improving roads and bridges in the Alle-Kiski Valley over the next four years, according to a State Transportation Commission plan to upgrade transit systems.

The commission last week approved its 12-year, $41.6 billion statewide plan. It is required to approve a 12-year plan for transportation improvements once every two years. The money available has dropped in recent years — from $67.9 billion in the plan approved in 2008 to $51.6 billion in the plan adopted in 2010.

There are 16 projects in the Valley to be funded between 2013 and 2016, ranging from improving traffic signals along Freeport Road through Blawnox and Aspinwall to replacing the Hulton Bridge between Harmar and Oakmont.

The bulk of the money to be spent locally — about $109 million — is targeted for the Hulton Bridge project. An additional $26 million has been dedicated to that project in the funding years beyond 2016.

About $4.7 million was allocated to replacing the Route 366 bridge over the Route 56 bypass in New Kensington — part of a cloverleaf channeling traffic to and from the Tarentum Bridge on Route 366 as well as to Lower Burrell and the Kiski Valley on Route 56.

Construction is slated to begin in 2016, according to the plan.

Other major projects include replacing the Culmerville Truss bridge in West Deer in 2015 at a cost of about $4 million and reconfiguring Cox's Corner in Clinton Township where Route 228 meets Saxonburg Boulevard south of Saxonburg at a cost of about $6.2 million in 2016.

“We're extremely happy that this is on the Transportation Improvement Program,” said Jim Halstead, a Clinton Township supervisor.

“It's very difficult for traffic coming out of Saxonburg on Saxonburg Boulevard to make a left-hand turn onto Route 228,” he said. “It will improve traffic flow and make things safer.”

There are no projects slated for funding in the Armstrong County section of the Valley.

Michael Aubele is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or maubele@tribweb.com.

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