Cranberry ramp project still on time despite inclement weather

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Despite a damp spring and summer, work to alleviate traffic congestion along Route 228 in Cranberry by constructing ramps to Interstate 79 has not fallen behind schedule, according to PennDOT officials.

“We hoped to accelerate the pace of work and get the project done sooner, but the weather didn't cooperate,” said project manager Tim Macken. “However, we're still on track to complete the work by the October 2014 target date.”

The amount of rain that fell in the region was 0.78 of an inch below the average for March and 1.62 inches below for May, according to Brad Rehak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon.

In April, the average rainfall was 0.16 of an inch above. The wettest months this summer were June, which had rainfall that was 1.18 inches above normal, and July, when the rainfall was 2.33 inches above normal, Rehak said.

The $14.78 million project began in November with work that included the removal of concrete medians and power lines and demolition of a cellular telephone tower.

Ponds to collect storm water diverted from the construction site were built, along with barriers and pavement to handle temporary traffic patterns.

When completed, the ramps will allow motorists to access I-79 from Route 228 without having to wait for a traffic signal, Macken said.

An average of 21,000 vehicles travel along the section of Route 228 near I-79, according to Deborah L. Casadei, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's District 10 office.

“Anybody who travels that road knows how congested it can get,” Casadei said. “One of the big things motorists will experience when the project is completed is that traffic to (Route) 228 and (Interstate) 79 will flow so much more efficiently.”

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or

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