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Mt. Pleasant paving project receives low bid of $7.4M

Jeff Himler
| Friday, June 23, 2017, 1:36 p.m.
A car drives down Main St. in Mt. Pleasant on Friday, June 23, 2017.
Kyle Hodges
A car drives down Main St. in Mt. Pleasant on Friday, June 23, 2017.

PennDOT officials received an apparent low bid of about $7.4 million for a project that will update pavement, intersections and traffic signals on a segment of Route 31, including Main Street in downtown Mt. Pleasant.

The work is expected to begin Aug. 7 and continue through September 2018, adding to traffic woes for local motorists and businesses already affected by borough and utility company line replacements that have ripped up streets in advance of the project. For at least one local business, the project's end can't come soon enough.

“We're concerned for sure,” said Laurie Palmer of Bullskin, a sales associate at Levin Furniture on West Main Street. “The roads are just terrible. We've had customers complain that they won't come back until it's fixed. It's very difficult.”

To make matters worse, she said, construction equipment was parked in front of the store for a few days, including on a Saturday.

“That's our busiest day,” she said.

PennDOT project manager Ron Murray has said the selected contractor will smooth out rough spots in the street resulting from the line replacements. Crews are to alert businesses to work that may affect them, he said.

The low proposal from Michael Facchiano Contracting — of Baldwin Township, Allegheny County — was among bids opened last week for PennDOT's “Mt. Pleasant Betterment” project. Previous estimates had pegged the total cost at roughly $11 million.

The construction area along Route 31 includes parts of Mt. Pleasant Borough and neighboring East Huntingdon, extending from Bridgeport Street to Route 119. Crews will replace traffic signals and reconstruct intersections at six locations: Morewood Street and Braddock Road; Eagle Street and Chief D.B. Pore Way; Church Street; College and Mullin avenues; Diamond Street; and Center and Cherry avenues.

New drainage will be installed between Church and Diamond streets, and existing drains will be replaced between Diamond and Cook's Way. Handicap-accessible curb ramps will be updated, and a railroad crossing will be replaced.

According to PennDOT, the construction will require single-lane restrictions, with traffic controlled by flaggers, in the main project area. Detours will be in place for affected side roads during reconstruction of signalized intersections.

Trucks are to be detoured around Mt. Pleasant during construction.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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