South Main under construction again

September 27, 2017
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Holly Tonini/Observer-Reporter
A portion of South Main Street at the intersection with Park Avenue in Washington is closed for the repair of a culvert under the road. Order a Print
Image description
Holly Tonini/Observer-Reporter
A portion of South Main Street at the intersection with Park Avenue in Washington is closed for the repair of a culvert under the road. Order a Print
Image description
Holly Tonini/Observer-Reporter
A portion of South Main Street at the intersection with Park Avenue in Washington is closed for the repair of a culvert under the road. Order a Print

Motorists who use South Main Street in the city of Washington once again face traffic restrictions.

A section of the road, at the intersection with Park Avenue (Route 18), closed Wednesday for a state Department of Transportation project.

Route 19 is the posted detour.

A contractor is making repairs to a box culvert at South Main and Park Avenue that runs over Catfish Creek.

According to PennDOT spokeswoman Valerie Petersen, the detour is expected to remain for about seven to 10 days.

A single-lane restriction will then be implemented during daylight working hours, for about two more days, while the contractor mills and paves South Main Street from the intersection of Park Avenue to the railroad crossing.

Traffic was disrupted in the area starting in June 2016 for a city streetscape project that included the addition of two traffic signals, one at South Street and one at Park Avenue, and new sidewalks, lighting and stormwater pipe improvements.

The $1.5 million project was delayed several times for removal of a fuel storage tank and old gas, water and trolley lines. A broken water main further pushed the original completion date of November 2016 to July of this year.

In addition to causing traffic delays, the project caused parking and utility disruptions. Merchants in the area were frustrated with the impact on their businesses.

“Hopefully, the impact (of this project) will be minimal to business owners,” said city Councilman Ken Westcott, head of the street department.

Westcott said sidewalks on South Main should not be affected.

PennDOT will embark on a larger undertaking to replace the Park Avenue culvert. Westcott said the project wouldn’t begin until at least 2023, but Petersen said in an email, “It should be sooner than that time frame.”

Petersen said the cost of the current project is not known because it is part of a larger contract.

Natalie Reid Miller has been with the Observer-Reporter since 2013. A native of Burgettstown, she primarily covers Washington and surrounding communities. Natalie has a writing degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

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