Transportation plans outlined
Daily News Staff Writer
The first of four public hearings on the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) was held Thursday evening prior to the monthly meeting of the Huntingdon County Planning Commission.
Identical hearings will be held in the three remaining counties of the Southern Alleghenies RPO (Rural Planning Organization), Somerset, Bedford and Fulton, within the upcoming week.
Brandon Peters, transportation program manager for the Southern Alleghenies Planning andDevelopment Commission, outlined the purpose of the TIP and highlighted some of the projects proposed for the four-year plan.
“Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Corp. covers Blair and Cambria counties as well, but they have their own MPO, or metropolitan planning organization,” Peters said. “We are an RPO and part of that is due to the population of the area.”
Within the Southern Alleghenies RPO, there are 1,430 state bridges (greater than 8 feet in length) 264 local bridges (greater than 20 feet in length) and 5,967.76 linear miles of roadway.
“As far as state bridges in Huntingdon County, you guys have 317 state bridges and, of those, 40 are structurally deficient,” he said. “Local bridges, 57 are greater than a 20-foot span and you have 23 in the structurally deficient category.”
As for roadway assets, Huntingdon County has a total of 1,296.83 linear miles — 598.56 maintained by PennDOT, 63.12 maintained by other state entities, 2.5 miles maintained by the Pennsylvania Turnpikeand 632.65 miles maintained by local municipalities.
“So, how does a project get put on the TIP? Prioritization and project selection,” said Peters. “Most importantly, in my mind, is the input from the community. The county planners are a huge part of that. The local stakeholders are another very important part of it. Those are the people who drive the roads every day and get to see the deficiencies first hand.”
The TIP projects slated for Huntingdon County include three bridge rehabilitation and preservation projects, 14 bridge replacement projects, four roadway restoration projects, 12 roadway resurfacing projects and eight safety/intersection improvement projects.
Peters walked those in attendance through a few of the projects to be accomplished within the four-year plan. These included state Route 2025 East Shirley Street resurfacing within the Mount Union Borough, which is due to be let out for bid April 9, 2020; state Route 2005 Three Springs Creek Bridge rehabilitation in Clay Township; highway resurfacing on Raystown Road to the Bedford County line (to be completed in two sections, U.S. Route 22 to Mountain Road in Marklesburg, due to be let out for bid Feb. 13, 2020, and Marklesburg to the Bedford County line, due to be let out for bid Feb. 20, 2020;Muddy Run projects which consist of three culvert replacements in the Huntingdon Borough, which is due to be let out for bid Oct. 3, 2019; and resurfacing U.S. Route 22 from the Mifflin County line to Penn Street in the Huntingdon Borough, which is due to be let out for bid Jan. 7, 2020.
Peters, along with Dave Lybarger, PennDOT planning and programming manager, invited those present to offer comments or questions.
Huntingdon Borough Mayor Dee Dee Brown expressed some concern for traffic patterns within the borough during the repairs to the culverts along the Muddy Run.
“When you work on the Muddy Run in Huntingdon Borough, those are areas that are heavily traveled,” Brown said. “How will you do that? Will the whole road be closed down?”
“We will be beginning project development some time after October,” Lybarger said. “We will be seeking input into anything that would be needed for this particular project.”
The TIP can be reviewed online and public comments are still being accepted on the website atwww.sapdc.org/2017-2020TIP. The plan for the draft TIP should be approved at the RPO meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 20.
April can be reached at email@example.com.