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Finally, a fix for Route 422

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 1:32 a.m.
The state has contracted for a $9.2 million project that is designed to make this intersection along Route 422 more safe.

KITTANNING TWP. — After years of waiting for safety improvements to Route 422, the county will finally be seeing a fix of one of the most problematic spots along that dangerous highway.

Work will start next year on the route in the area of Theater Road in Kittanning Township and is expected to last two years.

PennDOT District 10 announced last week that the apparent low bidder for the Route 422-Theater Road Realignment Project in Armstrong is Frank J. Zottola Construction, Inc., of Valencia, Butler County, in the amount of $9,295,365.

There were eight bids for the project.

The project consists of realignment of the existing roadway on Route 422, including “flattening of its vertical profile” and addition of a center turn lane just east of T-850 (Lasher Road) and T-570 (Rupp Church Road).

In addition, Theater Road and Graham Road will be realigned.

The project is located between Wray Plan Road and Rupp Church Road.

Deborah Casadei, PennDOT District 10 public information officer, said that the contract has yet to be awarded to low bidder Zottola and that there is no schedule, traffic restrictions or detour information to date for the work on the project.

Project details will soon be available, she said.

“This was a great collaborative effort between Indiana and Armstrong counties and state elected officials. Casadei said. “Indiana County moved money from other road projects to Armstrong County.”

Armstrong County Commissioner Rich Fink agreed that Indiana officials recognized the need and helped Armstrong with the funding. There has been a collaborative effort for years to improve Route 422, he said.

“A traffic study said it didn't warrant a limited access four-lane highway,” said Fink. “It did indicate it needed safety improvements and this area was one of the ones that did most. There was a significant safety risk. It's a high-accident area.”

Armstrong County Director of Planning and Development Rich Palilla said Indiana County was able to secure some transportation earmarks in the state transportation bill and agreed, based on safety studies that showed a high number of accidents on that corridor, that it was in everyone's best interest to designate those funds for this project.

“It's a good partnership,” said Palilla. “It's important for both counties.”

State Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, said improvements to the Route 422 corridor have always been a top priority of elected officials in Armstrong and Indiana County as it continues to be the scene of numerous accidents resulting in the loss of life.

“Therefore, our ongoing efforts to make the corridor safer are justified and this project is a major step in the right direction,” said White.

“Thanks to the collective efforts of the county commissioners and my colleagues at the state and federal level, we are making meaningful improvements to Route 422. The project is a perfect example of collaboration that goes beyond political boundaries in the spirit of improving public safety and we will continue to advance similar efforts as funding becomes available.”

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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