Road work to delay your travels
Paving work continues on West Broadway in Jim Thorpe. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Roadwork is coming to a highway near you.
More than 130 highway and bridge contracts are expected to be underway in the region this year, including the rock-scaling project on Route 209 in Jim Thorpe.
“That’s a big job there,” District Executive Michael W. Rebert said, noting that some rocks did fall in the winter months. “Especially with the tourism that comes to Jim Thorpe, we can’t afford to have lanes down on 209.”
The contractor, Road-Con Inc. expects to begin the daytime detours of Route 209 on May 6, with a full road closure from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of major holidays.
All lanes of Route 209 from Flagstaff Road to Race Street will be closed during that time.
Drivers will be able to access the Bagel Bunch on the Mahoning Township side, and Turkey Hill, Highland Beverage, etc. on the Jim Thorpe side.
The project entails rock slide mitigation, installing protective wire mesh on the mountain, and drainage improvements at various locations along Route 209.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation last week highlighted transportation investments for 2019 in the district’s six-county, east central region.
The department plans on investing more than $281 million this year in the PennDOT Engineering District 5 region spanning Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.
Work in the region this year will pave about 366 miles of roads and replace or rehabilitate 64 bridges.
In addition to construction projects, PennDOT’s regional county maintenance employees will resurface 32 miles of lower-traffic roads with Recycled Asphalt Pavement this year.
“We look forward to the new construction season,” Rebert said. “We take pride in constructing and reconstructing a safe, efficient transportation network.”
Rebert highlighted some of the projects, primarily Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County; all of Interstate 80 in Carbon County; and a lot of work on Route 80 and 380 in Monroe County.
“These are big projects that should keep the interstate in good shape for the next 8-10 years,” Rebert said. “We’re very happy about that.”
Rebert said “PennDOT probably has more going on right now than in the past; it does become cyclical. That money comes out of a fund that works out of our central office in Harrisburg; they do have to look at the state as a whole for interstates, so some years there’s other parts of the state that have needs greater than ours. At this point, we’re in a great spot.”
In the works
Notable projects that started or will continue this year include:
• Project to improve I-80 between exits 273 (Route 940/Route 437) and 293 (Junction I-380) in Carbon and Luzerne counties, including concrete cracking and seating, paving, and placing new line paint, $25.7 million.
• Rockslide mitigation along Route 209 in Mahoning Township, $3.5 million.
• Resurfacing of Broadway/West Broadway in Jim Thorpe Borough and Rockport Road in Lehigh Township, $495,000.
• Project to improve I-81 between exits 131 (Route 54) and 141 (Route 424), including milling, patching and paving, $16.5 million.
• Project to improve I-81 between exits 119 (Highridge Park Road) and 124 (Route 61), including milling, patching and paving, $10.7 million.
• Route 209 Bridge over Reading Blue Mountain Northern Railroad and West Branch Schuylkill River replacement in Branch Township, $4.9 million.
• Route 309 Pavement Preservation Project in Rush Township, $3.9 million.
• Project to improve I-81 between exits 100 (Route 443) and 112 (Route 25), including edgeline repairs, centerline repairs and microsurfacing, $2.8 million.
• Reconstruction of Route 611 from Scotrun to Swiftwater in Pocono Township, including creating new traffic lanes with two through lanes and a center left turning lane, designated left turn lanes at intersections; installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Route 611 and Brookdale Road; replacing the Route 611 bridge over Scotrun; repairing the Route 611 culvert over Scotrun; and repairing the Route 611 culvert over a tributary to Scotrun $12.3 million.
• Replacement of two ramp bridges at Exit 310 on I-80, including installation of a roundabout at intersection of River Road, Foxtown Hill Road and Broad Street in Delaware Water Borough and Smithfield Township, $14.1 million.
• Resurfacing of Route 115 between Kuhenbeaker Road and Tobyhanna Creek in Tobyhanna and Tunkhannock townships, $2.6 million.
• Replacement of the Route 191 (Stites Tunnel) Bridge over Paradise Creek in Pocono Township, $8.1 million.
• Project to improve I-80 west between exits 293 (Junction I-380) and 284 (Route 115) in Tobyhanna and Tunkhannock townships, including patching and microsurfacing, $2.5 million.
• Repairs to 13 bridges in various municipalities in Carbon, Monroe and Schuylkill counties, $6 million.
• Resurfacing of Route 248 between routes 946 and 512 in Bath Borough, Lehigh, Moore, and East Allen townships, $4.1 million.
• Replacement of Route 248 bridge over Monocacy Creek in Upper Nazareth Township, $3.5 million.
• Route 22 at Fullerton Avenue Interchange: reconstruction and replacement of Route 22 bridges over Lehigh River, $64.7 million.
• Rehabilitation of the Tilghman Street Bridge over Lehigh River, Norfolk Southern Rail Road and local streets in the City of Allentown, $21.9 million.
• Repair and resurface I-78, $7.6 million.
• East Station Avenue and South Main Street streetscape enhancements in Coopersburg Borough, including crosswalks, curb ramps, pedestrian lighting and extension of Saucon Rail Trail from Landis Street to Station Avenue, $1.4 million.
• Project to install center median barrier on Route 222/Fred Jaindl Memorial Highway, $765,000.
• Project to improve I-78 in Lehigh and Northampton counties including patching, milling and paving of the passing lanes, $5.8 million.
• Repairs to 11 bridges in various municipalities in Lehigh and Northampton counties, $4.1 million.
Notable projects that are expected to begin this year include:
• Resurfacing of Route 534 between Route 903 and Monroe County line in Penn Forest and Kidder townships, $1.4 million.
• Retaining wall repairs on Route 248 in Lower Towamensing Township, $987,000.
• Rehabilitation of Moseywood Road Bridge over I-80 in Kidder Township, $778,000.
• Resurfacing of Route 314 between Manor Drive and Route 611 in Tobyhanna and Pocono townships, estimated cost, $1 million-$2 million).
• Reconstruction and widening of a portion of Route 115 in Tunkhannock Township, $6.9 million.
• Resurfacing of U.S. 209 between Route 33 and I-80 in Hamilton and Stroud townships, estimated cost $3 million-$4 million.
• Resurfacing of Route 22 between Bethman and Farmersville roads in Bethlehem Township, $6 million.
• Replacement of Water Street bridge over Saucon Creek in City of Bethlehem, Hellertown Borough and Lower Saucon Township, $3.8 million.
• Interchange improvements at Route 22 and 13th Street in Palmer Township and City of Easton, $2.7 million.
• Installation of high tension median guide rail and median barrier on Route 33, $2.3 million.
• Reconstruction of Route 100 between Industrial Boulevard and Tilghman Street in Upper Macungie Township, estimated cost $16 million-$18 million.
• Installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Route 222, Route 863 and Schantz Road in Upper Macungie Township, estimated cost $14 million-$16 million.
• An additional southbound lane and intersection improvements on Route 987/Airport Road between City Line Road and Route 22 in Allen and Hanover townships, estimated cost $4 million-$6 million.
• Resurfacing of Cedar Crest Boulevard between Walbert Avenue and I-78 in City of Allentown, South Whitehall and Salisbury townships, $2.6 million.
• Resurfacing of Brookside Road between Hamilton Boulevard and Buckeye Road in Lower Macungie Township, $1.7 million.
• Resurfacing of Route 100 in Macungie Borough, Lower Macungie and Upper Milford townships, $1.5 million.
As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers. When entering a work zone, motorists should drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers and avoid all distractions. In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and are to take turns merging into the open lane.
For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan, or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit www.projects.penndot.gov.