McMURRAY – Motorists in Peters Township will deal with yet another traffic restriction when one northbound lane of Washington Road (Route 19) will close for 30 days starting June 9 to allow Gulisek Construction to build a turning lane from Washington Road to a new ramp leading to and from Valley Brook Road. The closure length will be relatively short and will extend from the site of the old ramp to the new ramp.
Periodically, during the closure on the northbound side, southbound lanes on Washington Road will also close to allow for installation of poles for new traffic signals.
Since the 16-month project began May 22, 2013, the traffic lights on Washington Road have blinked yellow allowing all traffic to flow uninterrupted. The new signals will not be activated until the project is complete and the ramp is opened officially on Labor Day, Michael Silvestri, township manager, told township council at a meeting Tuesday.
Also during the month-long northbound lane closure, the state Department of Transportation will repair a small slide just south of the new ramp connection in the right lane.
The turning lane is the beginning of phase 3 of the $4 million PennDOT project that has been planned for several years. Construction was delayed for several years due to lawsuits filed by surrounding property owners over parking spaces and access lanes and the owner of a billboard that resulted in the eventual erection of a digital sign just north of the intersection.
Valley Brook Road remained open from East McMurray Road to just east of the intersection of Old Washington Road. During the project, the intersection was reconfigured. Valley Brook Road under Washington Road was also closed. The only access between the two sections of Valley Brook Road was by pedestrians and bicyclists along Arrowhead Trail.
Before the closure, more than 11,000 vehicles traveled Valley Brook Road daily, the only east-west access in the township on state-owned roads other than East and West McMurray Road.
The project, for which the township was required to pay $800,000, is “right on schedule,” Silvestri said. When asked if the road could be opened before the Sept. 1 holiday, Silvestri said the official date was Labor Day.
“Keep pressing them on that,” said Councilman Frank Arcuri.