Washington drivers to see paving, closures in Route 19 corridor

August 19, 2014
Work on the Locust-Highland-Ridge project is continuing with the Locust Avenue connection beginning to take shape Tuesday. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Drivers who travel along the Route 19 corridor of Murtland, Ridge and Highland avenues in Washington will start to see paving work begin next month, as well as another street closing.

While the paving work is expected to start during the first or second week of September, it will not be determined until next week exactly when the work will start, said Roxanne Rossi, project manager for the state Department of Transportation.

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. Zottola Construction of Valencia, Butler County, is the general contractor for the project, which began in summer 2013. The initial phase of the Route 19 corridor work, which included reconstruction of Lincoln and College streets, was completed in 2013.

The first phase will include milling the surface and putting down a base and binder coats.

“It will still be about 1 1/2-inches low, so we will adjust the manholes,” said Steve Zottola of Zottola Construction. “We will also cut the loops for the traffic signals. There will be about a week gap before the final paving is done.”

There will be traffic restrictions while the work is done. College Street also will be closed to traffic for about a week for full-depth reconstruction between Highland and Walnut Street.

Crews are still having issues with pedestrian traffic on Locust Avenue, said Jaison Cox of Trumbull Corp., who is working with PennDOT on the project.

Locust has been closed to vehicles for almost a year and was closed to pedestrian traffic last month as heavy equipment was moved in to the block between East Hallam and Ridge avenues.

“It is way too dangerous to walk through there,” Cox said. “People are walking small children through there.”

Traffic also will be delayed next week as work is done on the new traffic signals that will be installed in the area.

Columbia Gas Co. has almost completed its work, Rossi said. The project is on track to be completed as scheduled in late 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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