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PennDOT asks patience until Westmoreland, Fayette bridge projects completed

| Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Several bridge projects in the area have affected motorists for a while now, and PennDOT is asking for a little more patience until they are finished.

Replacement of the bridge that carries Route 119 over Jacobs Creek, Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad and the Coal & Coke Trail between East Huntingdon in Westmoreland County and Upper Tyrone in Fayette County is more than halfway finished.

The contractor, Swank Associated Cos., finished the southbound side of the bridge, which motorists are using while crews work on the northbound side.

Traffic is restricted to a single lane in each direction. The second half of the bridge was demolished, and footers and piers are being set for the new bridge.

Valerie Petersen, a spokeswoman for PennDOT, said Swank will continue minor operations throughout the winter, as weather permits, with the bulk of the work remaining to be done next season.

Tentative completion date for the $16.5 million project is late August 2013.

After a brief closure because of flooding, work on the bridge over Indian Creek at the intersection of Route 711 and Indian Head Road is continuing.

The bridge is still open to traffic weighing less than 6 tons. There is just one lane open that uses a traffic light to control in which direction motorists travel at any given time.

The original completion date for at least one side of the bridge was Nov. 1. Once one side is finished, traffic of all weights should be able to utilize the bridge, officials noted.

School buses, delivery trucks and emergency vehicles must use a detour.

In addition, residents of the mountain will soon see a replacement project for the metal truss bridge on Route 381 at the Mill Run Reservoir.

Petersen said the project is a design-build, contracted to Plum Contracting Inc. for $4,873,381.

“The new structure will be built adjacent to the existing structure on a new alignment to the east side, not to interfere with the current flow of traffic during construction,” she said.

While some minor work is under way, such as clearing trees and filling areas with dirt, major construction cannot commence until water line relocation is performed under the direction of the Indian Creek Water Authority.

Petersen said the water line relocation is expected this month. Attempts to confirm the date with authority manager Kerry Witt were unsuccessful.

The project has an August 2014 completion date.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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