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East Crawford Avenue may open soon

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2002

Residents and motorists inconvenienced by the closure of East Crawford Avenue in Connellsville due to a $704,000 resurfacing project by PennDOT are in for some good news.

The project, which closed the heavily-traveled thoroughfare from the Route 711 (Snyder Street) intersection to Breakneck Road, may be completed earlier than anticipated, according to one PennDOT official.

Ted Mowen, the construction project manager, said if the weather continues to hold out, the road could be opened by the end of October with the overall project being completed as soon as the first week in November.

"I would say if it went into November, it would be very early in November," said Mowen.

The project featured a total reconstruction of the road surface from the 711 intersection to Breakneck Road with a new asphalt surface and the reconstruction of the Breakneck Road intersection with a plain cement concrete pavement.

After almost a month delay due to ongoing work on utility lines in the area, the project got under way in August and was expected to last well into November. Due to a long stretch of dry weather, Donegal Construction, the contractors on the job, have made progress early in the project during the excavation phase.

Utility workers, who began working in the area even before the project began in August, were able to finish their work much earlier than anticipated, making the project move along at a quicker pace.

"We anticipated some problems, but they (utility workers) made a conscientious effort to get out of our way," said Mowen.

Once the road is reopened, the work on the project isn't completed. Because of the road closure, damage has been done to Falcon Drive, one of the roads used for the project's designated detour.

For the duration of the project, vehicle traffic, including trucks that normally utilize Crawford Avenue, were re-routed off Route 711 onto Locust Street, Falcon Drive, Breakneck Road and back onto Crawford Avenue. The damage, which has been temporarily repaired, will undergo more permanent repairs after Crawford Avenue is reopened.

The project, which was estimated to cost $704,000, has stayed pretty close to budget, according to Mowen. Overall, he is pleased with how the project has gone.

"It all worked out. I'm really happy with it," said Mowen.

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