Route 19 project to resume

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Work to reconstruct North and South College Street between Highland Avenue and East Maiden Street in Washington could resume as early as next month.


If the Washington County maintenance manager gives his approval, the start date could be moved to the week of March 11, said Scott Faieta, assistant construction engineer for the state Department of Transportation’s District 12. Initial plans called for the work, being done as part of the Route 19 improvement project through Washington, to begin April 1.


Because of winter maintenance and snow removal, Faieta said county managers usually do not like road projects to start before April.


Work on the street was to have been completed in 2012 while work was done on Lincoln Street, but work by Pennsylvania-American Water Co. to replace the main water line this winter pushed that phase of the project back a year.


Faieta said utility work on Lincoln is done with the exception of some work by Verizon.


When work begins, the left side of the street will be reconstructed first because that is where most of the drainage work will be done, Faieta said. The work will temporarily remove parking on the street.


The work will also require the removal of the trees lining the street. The trees will be replaced with cherry trees. While officials at First Presbyterian Church have indicated they want fewer trees, Washington & Jefferson College representatives want the same number of trees lining the street adjacent to the school.


Work on this phase of the project, being done by Donegal Construction, will be completed in October.


The next phase of the project includes work along Highland, Ridge and Murtland avenues. Faieta said the contractor, Frank Zottola Construction, needs to get permits to remove four buildings in the area. Those buildings include the former Highland Bar and Grill at the intersection of Highland and College and a former gas station at Locust and Highland.


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