When work to reconstruct a portion of Allison Hollow Road began in late March, Chartiers Township officials were assured that it would be completed in time for the start of the Washington County Fair.
But with the fair beginning Saturday, work is nowhere near done. The road between West Pike Street and McClane Farm Road is riddled with ruts left behind by replacement of stormwater pipes and grates. No resurfacing has been done and guardrails along parts of the road with steep embankments are missing, replaced by orange and white barriers.
Morgan Excavating of Belle Vernon was awarded the $1.7 million project for the work, which included replacing storm sewers and drains, stabilizing portions of hillsides, removing trees and paving. Work was to be done by the beginning of August.
But unforeseen delays for the contractor made finishing the project before the start of the fair impossible.
“It was a very aggressive schedule to meet the goal. There were delays in relocating utilities,” Jodi Noble, township manager, said Thursday. “One utility company delayed the project four weeks and another delayed it six weeks.”
“There is no one more disappointed that it was not open than us,” she said of township officials.
Noble said the contractor is fixing some spots along the road and putting up barriers where there are no guardrails.
“Signs will be put up to alert drivers that the road is open only to local traffic,” Noble said. “We do not want people cutting through to the fair.”
Chief James Horvath had hoped to redirect some fair traffic up Old Hickory Ridge Road to Allison Hollow to alleviate backups on North Main Street Extension and Country Club Road.
“But, I guess we will have to wait until next year to try that,” Horvath said.
A 2012 traffic study showed 7,500 vehicles travel the road daily northbound between West Pike and Old Hickory Ridge while 5,000 vehicles travel it southbound.
Noble said work to mill the existing surface will start Aug. 18. Paving is expected to be completed by Sept. 15 with all of the work scheduled to be done by Oct. 15.