Officials of Wal-mart say a new Superstore being constructed along Route 443 in Mahoning Township is expected to open in October.

The project had been stuck in the planning phase for at least seven years. Ground was finally broken last fall and construction is well under way.

It's good news for shoppers in two respects:

1. It replaces a smaller Wal-mart that exists across from Carbon Plaza Mall with a store much larger and with more consumer choices.

2. It means that the construction of a new Lowe's Home Improvement Store might not be far behind.

The new Lowe's will be built on the site where the existing Wal-mart is located. Lowe's purchased the building from Wal-mart in July 2004 for $4 million.

The stipulation in the sale agreement was that Wal-mart would rent the space from Lowe's until the new Supercenter is completed.

After the existing Wal-mart closes, the building housing that store will be razed for the new Lowe's.

In conjunction with the Wal-mart Supercenter, the Arkansas-based store is required to straighten Troxell's Hill Road, a project that is also underway.

Troxell's Hill Road will have a new T-intersection with Route 443.

The main entrance for the new Wal-mart will be across the street from Frederick's Grove Road.

The Supercenter is about a mile west of the existing Wal-mart.

The new Wal-mart will have 203,000 square feet.

The existing Wal-mart, which opened in 1994, has less than half that footage – a total of 93,188 square feet.

Supercenters include grocery departments, which could result in competition with a nearby Giant Supermarket and Aldi's Food Store.

One of the conditions that were imposed by Mahoning Township officials for Wal-mart was that the store plant trees along the portion of the site that abutts the neighboring residents' properties.