PennDOT seeking input on Route 28 noise barriers |

PennDOT seeking input on Route 28 noise barriers

Tawnya Panizzi
PennDOT is gathering input on a potential sound barrier at Center Avenue along Route 28, as shown in the drawing, as part of the Highland Park Bridge Interchange Project.

Residents impacted by the impending Highland Park Interchange Reconstruction Project still have time to vote on sound barriers proposed along portions of Route 28.

A postal gaffe was discovered after surveys were returned to PennDOT undelivered to residents in Aspinwall and O’Hara, spokesman Steve Cowan said.

“There were some issues relating to the certified mail delivery, and a portion of the letters/ballots were returned back to the department,” Cowan said. “We are in the process of working with the local municipalities to update names and addresses, and we will be sending the letters/ballots out a second time to the property owners or renters that did not vote.”

PennDOT hosted a meeting in February to outline details of the $55 million reconstruction project, which is expected to address bottlenecks along Route 28 at Exit 6 (Highland Park Bridge), where about 57,000 vehicles travel each day.

Participants were asked to vote on whether to build sound barriers and if so, whether they should be constructed with different colors of brick, stone or grape stake.

Only residents who would benefit from the sound barriers, as determined by noise studies, can vote. Those are people who live near what would be a noticeable — 5 decibels or more — sound level reduction from the potential walls.

Some of the areas targeted for sound barriers include Route 28 near Lexington and Western avenues in Aspinwall and Highland Terrace in O’Hara.

“Unfortunately, we do not have all of the ballots returned at this time and a decision has not been made,” Cowan said. “Hopefully, we will receive a larger number of responses so that we can make a determination on the texture and color of the walls on the resident sides of the sound barrier.”

Residents will be voting on the neighborhood view of the wall texture and color. PennDOT will determine the highway side.

Funded by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission Transportation Improvement Program, construction is planned for 2020-21.

Highlights of the Interchange Project include returning the road to its original two lanes of traffic in each direction from North Canal Street in Sharpsburg to the Delafield Avenue exit in Aspinwall. Ramps from Route 28 to the Highland Park Bridge and Freeport Road will be reconstructed and traffic lights added.

Final designs for the sound barriers will be considered by PennDOT and consultants after votes are tallied.

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Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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