Work to continue on road project

Work on Route 19 corridor project to start again in April

January 15, 2013
Part of the Route 19 corridor improvement project will include the demolition of an old service station at Locust and Highland avenues. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

While there has not been a break in detours and road closures this winter as crews from Pennsylvania-American Water Co. replaced a water line on College Street over the last few months, drivers should expect even more later this year when reconstruction work starts on the street.

Crews from Donegal Construction will start work in April, and perhaps as early as March, to rebuild the street between Highland Avenue and East Maiden Street. The work was to have been completed last year while work was done on Lincoln Street, but the water company work pushed the project back a year. Work on the street should be finished by October. The work is part of the Route 19 corridor improvement project through downtown Washington.

“Most of the water company work is done, although they are still working on some service lines,” said Scott Faieta, assistant construction engineer for the state Department of Transportation’s District 12. “The work should be done by the end of the month.”

Crews from Donegal will be cutting down some trees in anticipation of the work. The trees will be replaced at the completion of the project with species agreed upon by the contractor and Washington & Jefferson College representatives.

Some finishing work still has to be completed on Lincoln, Faieta said.

“We still have a few traffic signals that have to be done, and Verizon and Windstream still has some work to do. The road rides well,” he said of Lincoln. “It has really put a new face on the area.”

As work is winding down on this phase of the project, Frank Zottola Construction of Valencia will start work on the next phase of the Route 19 project, which includes the intersections with Highland Avenue and repaving Ridge and Murtland avenues to the state police barracks.

“If the contractor gets the permits, they will start to tear down four buildings,” Faieta said.

The buildings include the former Highland Bar and Grill and a former gasoline station at Locust and Highland avenues as well as two houses. Demolition could start in July.

Some road construction in the $2.8 million project to reconfigure the intersection could start later this year, but Faieta said the majority will be done in 2014.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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