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Upgrade work on Rt. 711 runaway truck ramp in Connellsville Township begins

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 7:03 a.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
PennDOT District 12 in Uniontown has decided to replace the aggregate with rounded river rock stone on the Route 711 truck escape ramp. The work will begin Tuesday. Motorists and truckers are asked to use caution and should expect traffic pattern changes.

Work will begin on Tuesday to replace the crushed stone aggregate on the Route 711 truck escape ramp on Springfield Pike in Connellsville Township.

PennDOT District 12 in Uniontown decided to replace the aggregate with rounded river rock stone that would better slow down heavy trucks by allowing them to sink, slowing their forward motion, said Valerie Petersen, community relations coordinator.

The ramp, with the aggregate installed, was built in 2012.

“(The aggregate) wasn't performing to what we needed,” Petersen added, noting the decision was made after reviewing the ramp's condition following the winter's freeze-thaw cycles.

“Think of the river rock like marbles,” Petersen said. “They slowly move around and out of the way, slowing (the vehicle) down.”

Motorists should expect occasional flaggers who will move trucks in and out of the ramp work zone.

“The key is safety,” she said, noting that the summer construction season is beginning. “Be aware for your safety.”

Petersen said there have been no reports of accidents since the ramp was built.

Tom Cesario, chairman of the Connellsville Township supervisors, agreed, noting he had not heard of any problems with the ramp.

Preparation work began on Monday.

The runaway truck ramp will be closed during the project until the aggregate is replaced. Motorists and truckers are asked to use caution and should expect traffic pattern changes.

The work is scheduled to be completed by April 17.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kpolacek@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.

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