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$25M in road construction planned for Butler County

Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
A sign for roadwork along Rt. 19 in Cranberry Township on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

2014 projects funded through the state's transportation bill, passed in November:

Clinton and Buffalo townships: Patching, drainage and resurfacing of state Route 228, from Route 2005 to Route 356, 3.5 miles, $3 million, spring start.

Franklin: Resurfacing of Route 422 from Route 528 to the Mount Chestnut Bridge, 3.63 miles, $2.7 million estimate, summer start.

Summit and Butler townships: Resurfacing of Route 356 from Green Manor Drive to Route 8, 3.85 miles, $1.8 million, summer start.

Lancaster: Resurfacing of Route 3025 to the Muddy Creek line, 3.4 miles, $4.1 million estimate, summer start.

2014 projects scheduled before the transportation bill. Unless otherwise noted, they are scheduled to start within the next several months:

Adams: Replacement of the Route 228 bridge over the CSX/B&O Railroad, $12.9 million, carryover from 2013.

Adams: Resurfacing of Route 3025, $2.5 million to $5 million.

Cranberry: Construction of Route 228 and Interstate 79 ramps to eliminate left turns for Route 228 northbound traffic, $14.8 million, 2013 carryover.

Cranberry: Intersection upgrades at Route 19 and 228 and Freedom Road to widen and add lanes along Route 19, $3.6 million.

Cranberry/Jackson: Joint repairs on Interstate 79, $1 million to $2.5 million.

Muddy Creek: Bridge replacement carrying Interstate 79 over Route 422 and Muddy Creek, $14.1 million, carryover from 2013.

Butler Township: Replacement of Kittanning Street bridge over the Connoquenessing Creek, $2.3 million, carryover from 2013.

Adams: Myoma Bridge replacement for Route 3017 over Breakneck Creek and Route 3015 over a tributary, $1.2 million, carryover from 2013.

Various locations: New and upgraded traffic signals at Routes 19 and 228 in Cranberry, Route 8 and Route 68 intersection in Butler, and Route 356 in Buffalo, $780,000.

Clinton/Buffalo: Resurfacing on Route 228, $2.2 million.

Prospect/Franklin: Resurfacing of Route 422, $2.2 million.

Butler Township: Bridge rehabilitation for structure carrying Route 8 over Butcher Run, $411,000.

Jefferson: Resurfacing of Route 356 from Rennick Road to McQuiston Road, between $1 million and $2.5 million.

Source: PennDOT District 10

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:15 p.m.

Franklin Supervisors Chairman Herman Bauer is concerned that roadwork on Route 422 this summer will affect traffic for July's Big Butler Fair, but he's not complaining that this major artery in the county is getting a face-lift.

“We'll survive this. All these (road) projects are needed. If we want businesses to move into our communities, we need the infrastructure to support them,” Bauer said.

PennDOT is spending more than $25 million on roadwork throughout Butler County this construction season, though several major projects are carried over from the 2013 construction season.

Of the work in Butler County, about $10 million comes thanks to the state's transportation funding bill signed into law in November. That bill increases the oil company franchise tax charged to wholesalers to generate the money.

Critics note that wholesalers have openly indicated those costs will merely be passed on to consumers and lead to higher gas prices, even though the state is eliminating the 12-cent retail gas tax. The law also raised some vehicle fees and fines for traffic violations.

Joseph P. Dubovi III, PennDOT District 10 executive, said his agency plans to use the money to work on more roads with the additional funding.

Crews have applied “a lot of Band-Aids over the last few years. Some roadways are in dire need of repair,” Dubovi said.

The state expects to raise about $321 million from the wholesale tax through the first six months of 2014 for road, bridge and other work, and between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion by the fifth year of the legislation.

The Big Butler Fair in Prospect draws thousands each year, and this year's event is scheduled from June 27 through July 5, with heavy traffic expected along Route 422 in Franklin and Prospect.

“With the extra money that's coming through the new transportation law, people need to see that it's being put to good use and being put to use in our area,” Bauer said.

PennDOT maps show between 7,800 and 19,000 vehicles pass through Franklin and Prospect on Route 422 each day, according to 2012 traffic counts.

PennDOT said it will maintain two lanes of travel in the construction zone at all times during the fair to ease traffic congestion.

Cranberry will also see many benefits from the road improvement plan, including a completion of a ramp project for Route 228 and Interstate 79. Work also will begin on intersection improvements at routes 228 and 19 and Freedom Road.

Township Manager Jerry Andree said many of the projects have been in the works for up to a decade. Some improvements will tie into the Cranberry Springs project that will feature the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, including two ice rinks and sports medicine facilities.

“This validates the importance of planning and having dialogue and collaboration with PennDOT,” Andree said.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or




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