Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E   

  Contact:  Joe Agnello, (724) 755-5262, (724) 755-5142 fax
                  e-mail: jagnello@paturnpike.com

March 9, 2000



A 2.3-mile stretch of Pa. Route 51 in Jefferson Hills Borough, Allegheny County, from Worthington Avenue to Coal Valley Road, will be reduced to one lane each direction starting next week. Lane restrictions will remain in effect until no later than mid-August.

Similar restrictions were in effect last year, from the second week of March through November 19, 1999. They are part of an $18.6 million reconstruction and improvement project to make the highway safer and more accommodative to traffic that will be moving on and off the new Mon/Fayette Expressway.

The second and final season of the one-lane-each-direction traffic pattern will begin Monday, March 13. Workers will set up the southbound side first so that two travel lanes will remain for Monday’s peak morning traffic, which is primarily northbound. Northbound restrictions are expected to be in place for Tuesday’s peak morning traffic.

Initially, traffic will be barreled to the inside lanes of Route 51 so that crews can complete drainage and curb work in preparation for final paving. After approximately five weeks, the inside lanes will be closed so that workers can construct the centerline mountable curb and mill the roadway.

Final paving is expected to begin in June. A variety of lane restrictions will be utilized from the start of final paving until completion of the project.

Last June 15, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a change order for the project’s general contractor so that traffic restrictions could be lifted three months earlier than originally planned. Under terms of the Commission’s revised contract with Dick Corporation, the project is to be "substantially complete" (providing four lanes of unrestricted traffic) as of August 15, 2000.

Route 51 is being widened by 14 feet to create a center lane for left turns. Other improvements include the reconstruction and/or realignment of five intersections and work on significant segments of Lewis Run to reduce the incidence of flooding.


 P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649