WAYNESBURG – A project to improve traffic flow on Route 19/21 in Morrisville, that includes replacing the bridge and railroad overpass at the western end of the corridor, will be discussed at a public meeting Dec. 20 by the state Department of Transportation.
The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Franklin Township Municipal Building.
In the planning stages for a number of years, the project will involve widening the highway to four lanes from just east of the intersection with Sugar Run Road to Arch Street.
This also will entail replacing both the two-lane Freedom Bridge and railroad overpass with four-lane structures and making lane and signal modifications to the Sugar Run Road intersection.
The project is now in final design and has been included on PennDOT’s schedule to be let on June 20. Construction is expected to begin in the fall.
A PennDOT project engineer earlier said the department plans to employ “half-width” construction on the bridge over Ten Mile Creek to allow traffic to continue without a major detour.
Two lanes of the new bridge will first be built next to the old bridge, the old bridge will be demolished and two new lanes will be built in its place.
In regard to the railroad overpass, the department first plans to build a new four-lane overpass west of the existing overpass. Once that is completed, the old overpass will be removed.
The only building expected to be displaced by the project is the McDonald’s Restaurant at the intersection of Route 19/21 and Sugar Run Road.
The project is estimated to cost $20 million.
A 12-year transportation plan approved earlier this year lists $10.9 million available for the project in the first four years, 2012 to 2016; and $9.3 million available in second four years, 2016 to 2020.
Plans also have been discussed to increase sometime in the future the number of lanes from three to four along the entire one-mile stretch of road through Morrisville.