Pedestrian traffic on Locust to be temporarily stopped

July 22, 2014
Construction continues on Ridge Avenue in Washington Monday as workers begin adding new sidewalks. Later this week, a section of Locust Avenue will be closed to pedestrian traffic as work continues on the project to reconstruct the Route 19 corridor. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Pedestrians who have become accustomed to walking through the section of Locust Avenue that has been closed to vehicle traffic because of construction will soon have to find another route.

Starting later this week, the section also will be closed to pedestrian traffic as work continues on the project to reconstruct the Route 19 corridor in Washington.

The work is part of a $2.7 million project to reconstruct the intersection of Locust, Ridge and Lincoln avenues and repave Ridge and Murtland avenues between Locust and the state police barracks.

The initial phase, which included reconstruction of Lincoln and College Street was completed in 2013.

“There will have to be some diversions of pedestrian traffic once the big machinery moves in later this week,” said Dean Sarver of Zottola Construction of Valencia, the general contractor for the project. “We had been letting them walk through.”

When the work is complete, vehicles will be able to go straight from Lincoln, across Ridge to Locust. A sharp right turn from Ridge to Locust will be eliminated.

Pedestrian traffic also has been limited in other parts of the construction area.

Work on construction of sidewalks and curbs on the south side of Ridge and Murtland is being wrapped up between Locust and the state police barracks, said Scott Faieta, assistant construction engineer for the state Department of Transportation. All utility work also has been completed.

“The intersection where College meets Highland may have to be closed for about four days because of some extra work that has to be done on sanitary sewers in that area,” Faieta said, adding the shutdown will likely take place in August. “But we will know more later.”

Steve Zottola, also of the construction company, said the schedule for milling and paving the roads is being developed.

He expects that work will begin in late August or early September.

“We are looking at doing the work at night,” Zottola said. “But we will have a better idea next month.”

Faieta also complimented the contractor for keeping the job clean and clear of debris.

Work on the project is on schedule and expected to be done by the end of October or early November.

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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