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


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

June 30, 2000



Traffic restrictions on a 2.3-mile stretch of Pa. Route 51 in Jefferson Hills Borough, Allegheny County that has been reduced to one lane each direction since March 13 will be lifted by Sunday.

That's because 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 is substantially complete.

Dick Corporation, the Turnpike Commission's general contractor, was to have had the project "substantially complete" as of August 15, 2000. That deadline for the provision of four lanes of unrestricted traffic was established on June 15, 1999, when the Commission approved a $625,163 change order in Dick Corporation's original $17,963,115 contract, awarded on December 17, 1998.

The increase represented funds to accelerate the project (from the original deadline of November 17, 2000) and schedule recovery costs incurred because severe rainstorms in Spring 1999 forced crews to redo work at several sites and delayed necessary utility relocations.

Route 51 has been widened by 14 feet to create a center lane for left turns. Other improvements included the reconstruction of five intersections, the construction or reconstruction of 13 structures such as culverts, bridges and walls, work on significant portions of Lewis Run to reduce the incidence of flooding and removal of a hump south of the Blue Flame Restaurant that impeded sight lines.

Some work remains that will require periodic, daylight traffic restrictions on short pieces of the 2.3-mile rebuild area but it will conclude on July 13. Remaining tasks include the placement of traffic lights at the Payne Hill Road and Old Clairton Road intersections, installation of raised pavement markers (reflectors) and line painting.

The project area extends north from the railroad crossing near Brickyard Road to a point approximately 800 feet north of the Coal Valley Road access to Jefferson Hospital, where Route 51 tapers back to four lanes from five.


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