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PennDOT maps offers for Parnassus properties

| Friday, May 2, 2003

NEW KENSINGTON: PennDOT will begin notifying property owners affected by the Parnassus Triangle project this month.

But it won't be until late July or August that offers are made on the properties, according to Dan Bucan, PennDOT right-of-way administrator. A consultant, Orion, of Leechburg, will begin putting the appraisals out for bid in the meantime, he said.

Most appraisals will be done on a case-by-case basis, PennDOT officials said. Property owners will be offered fair market value for their property.

The project goal is to transform the triangle intersection into a plus-shaped intersection to alleviate traffic congestion and safety concerns.

PennDOT in December unveiled its right-of-way plans, and in response to public concerns, went back to its design and found a way to take less property, according to PennDOT spokeswoman Valerie Peterson.

Twenty-five property owners will be affected by the project, she said.

PennDOT would not release a list of the businesses and residents affected by the project.

"The majority of (the property owners) are aware," said Matt Skovera, PennDOT project manager. "We've kept the community involved."

Skovera said the $4 million project's final construction design should be complete by summer's end.

Construction should begin next spring and is expected to take two years to complete, he said.

"We're trying to compress that down into 12 months, but that hasn't been realized yet," Skovera said.

Once the intersection change is complete, PennDOT plans to undertake a second phase in the project. It will widen the four roads that make up the intersection from two lanes to four lanes as far north on Route 366 just short of the Seventh Street intersection near Valley High School.

This second phase likely won't begin until the first phase is complete due to a lack of adequate state funding, as well as traffic concerns.

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