PennDot 2014 Plans Outlined; Gasoline Tax, Fees Bring Clarion County $18 Million Increase

IMG_8548SHIPPENVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – PennDot’s annual transportation outreach presentation for Clarion County last week at the Clarion County Career Center reviewed numerous construction projects being planned for the year, projects in design for the future, and Clarion County maintenance activities, but the impact of the recent Act 89 Transportation Funding Bill increases the amount of work previously scheduled.

(Photo: Clarion County Maintenance Manager William K. Olinger. )

“We got a $128 million pump for the district and in this area Clarion County got an $18.5 million increase,” said Joseph P. Dubovi, III, PennDot District 10 executive.  “That would be an additional $2.9 million we got in Clarion County for four years.”

“The benefits to the district from this package is that we’re going to let 48 projects this year and 19 were made possible by the increased funding. We also just submitted for additional revenue. They’re talking about bonding another $150 million to put out there and use to address roadways because of the severe winter we just had.”

A total of $85.23 million will be invested in District 10 this year, $39.41 million of which was made possible by Act 89, according to Dubovi.  Some of the sources of funding for Act 89 include fuel tax changes, changes in vehicle registration fees, and changes to drive licensing fees, traffic violation fines, surcharges, and permits.

Dubovi doesn’t know how much of the $36 million in project submitted by District 10 in addition to the Act 89 gains, but he wanted to add projects that would benefit Clarion County. 

“One of the projects was I-80 between Clarion and Knox where the center line is blowing out and also for Route 38 coming out of Emlenton.”

“The County is in pretty bad shape due to the winter and we hopefully will see those projects come along.”

The safety of bridges is also of concern to Pen Dot and Clarion County is no exception.

IMG_0997“We’ve been focusing on bridges, and we have structurally deficient ones that we have to address,” said Dubovi. “In Clarion County, we are down to about 35 structurally deficient bridges which isn’t bad, but overall in the district, there are about 368 bridges. The current state average is 16%, and our goal is to get down to 10 percent. We still have a ways to go.”

However, when PenDot looks at the number of structurally deficient bridges by deck area, Clarion County is the second highest in District 10 at 19 percent or 191 square feet.  The current state percentage is 1-0.7%, and the state 2033 goal for structurally deficient deck area percentage is 8.4%.

Act 89 also spells some changes for municipalities in the way they conduct business.  An electronic permitting process for occupancy permits for haulers or developers is online and available to all agencies that have access to PennDot’s system.

“Another significant change is that permitted overwide and overweight loads will be allowed seven days a week,” said Dubovi.  “They used to be restricted to Monday through Friday. They can now travel Saturdays and Sundays, as well. One of the effects may be if a local government has a municipal event, such as the Autumn Leaf Festival, we have to know in advance, so we put a restriction in our permit routing system to put a restriction in there to avoid Clarion Borough during the parade. If you have small municipalities (and) they decide they want to have a parade or a similar activity, they must notify us two weeks in advance or run the risk of having to accommodate large vehicles and your parade route. The reason for that is you have to apply 14 days in advance, so they have a permit to move their load. If you come to us on day seven and say you want to have this event, we have already issued a permit for these vehicles to travel. Worst case scenario – you might have to hold the truck for the duration of your parade.”

Another significant impact is that logging and coal hauling can now be considered a local delivery if the mill or mine is only reachable through posted roads.  If it is a state road, they don’t have to bond the road anymore.

Another benefit to local government is that by year five there will be a $237 million increase in the liquid fuels fund.  Counties can also assess a $5 vehicle registration fee at the county level, but none have yet enacted such a fee.

Scheduled 2014 Clarion County Projects           

Paul F. Koza, assistant district executive-construction, outlined construction projects scheduled for 2014 in Clarion County

“There are a group of projects we let every year for the entire district of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson counties,” said Koza. 

The contracts, scheduled for letting in May and June, deal with district guiderails (May 8), (AWPM) All- Weather Pavement Marking (May 8), small paint (May 22) and Systematic Safety and HFS (High Friction Safety) Course Safety (June 19).

The bridge projects are the ones that you have seen on I-80 and various townships, include Emlenton, Clarion River, and Beaver Creek Bridges.  The cost is $29,653,227. 

“They have been working on them for last two years, and this year they will be finishing them, but you’re not going to see a whole lot on the bridge level except for traffic restrictions,” said Koza.  “Everything is going to be underneath and they should be completed in November.

A complete list of the Clarion County work in 2014 includes:

• Bridge replacement of the SR 68 East Sligo Bridge at a cost of $2,516,490 by Glenn O. Hawbaker.

• Box culverts for Anderson/Craggs group bridges in Piney Township.  M and B Services, LLC is the contractor for the $1,224,185 project.  Completion scheduled for Sept. 13.

• Resurfacing and overlays of Route 28 from Hawthorn Borough to the Clarion County like in Shannondale. Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. is the contractor of the $1,464,565 project.  Completion is planned for Aug. 22.

• Resurfacing and overlays of SR 208 from Shippenville to Fryburg, including Shippenville Borough and Elk and Washington Townships.  Cost is expected to be $2.5 million to $5 million.  Contract will be let May 1.

• Widening and additional lanes on Route 68 in Clarion Township are slated for the Clarion Curve project at a projected cost of $1 million to $2.5 million.  Contract will be let Aug. 14.

• Stabilization and miscellaneous rehabilitation work is scheduled in Beaver Township at a projected cost of $200,000 to $300,000.  Contract to be let August 14.

Projects in design for the future

PennDot also has some Clarion County projects under design and will likely appear 2015 to 2017.  Assistant District Executive-Design Brian N. Allen, when asked about a previously reported addition to the Clarion Curve project that included work in the vicinity of the Clarion Mall, said the entire project was too expensive.

“That was actually part of a larger project years ago we couldn’t afford it, so what we’re going to do is we’re going to try to work on pieces, and once we get this project done we’ll probably start on another,” said Allen.  “We don’t have anything in design right now. It will be in future. It’s a priority for us so that will probably be one of the next things will start to look at.”

Allen unveiled future projects now in design, including:

• A bridge rehabilitation for Day Bridge in Clarion Township on Route 322 is scheduled for construction in 2015 at an estimated cost of $2.5 million to $5 million.  The passed construction project is in final design.

• Canoe Furnace Bridge on Route 4005 in Beaver Township is scheduled for a replacement.  The Canoe Creek Bridge project is now in final design, will require a detour, and construction is estimated at $1 million to $2.5 million.

• Resurfacing of Route 322 from Clarion Borough to Shippenville in Paint Township is slated for construction in 2015 with an estimated price tag of $1 million to $2.5 million.

• A signal replacement on Routes 68 and 2009 in Rimersburg Borough.  Estimated cost is $0 to $500,000 with construction in 2015.

• A signal replacement in Knox Borough on Route 208 with an estimate construction date of 2015 and construction estimate of $0 to $500,000.

• A bridge replacement of Piney Creek Bridge on Route 2001 in Piney Township.  Construction is estimate for 2016 at a cost of $1 million to $2.5 million.

• A removal of the Fenstermaker Railroad Bridge on Route 2005.  The Limestone Township will require a detour for the 2016 project estimated at $1 million to $2.5 million.

• A safety improvement project coupled with bridge replacement and the removal and preventative maintenance is slated for the Reidsburg Bridge Curve.  Minor roadway realignment will also require preventative maintenance. Estimated construction costs are $2.5 million to $5 million for the Monroe Township project in 2016.

• A bridge replacement is scheduled for Licking Township on Route 58 over the Clarion River.  The Callensburg Bridge #1 is slated for construction in 2017 at an estimated cost of $5 million to $7.5 million.

• Alum Rock Bridge #3 is projected for replacement along route 3020 in Richland Township, Turkey Run.  The project is in preliminary engineering phase with a 2017 construction anticipated at a cost of $1 million to $2.5 million.

• Clarion bridges over I-80 on routes 2007 and 3020 in Richland and Beaver Township are receiving preliminary engineering and construction is projected for 2017 and costs are estimated at $2.5 million to $5 million.

• Stone House Bridge #1 on Route 1007 is facing a bridge replacement in Clarion Township.  The Brush Run project is being prepared for engineering and looking at a 2018 construction at an estimated cost of $500,000 to $1 million.

• Engineering is also being prepare for Kissinger’s Mills Bridge on Route 3004 in Madison Township on Kissinger Run.  Construction is not funded, but projected costs are $1 million to $2.5 million.

• An Eisenman Bridge project on State Route 4035 over Mahle’s Run in Washington Township is listed as a department force bridge and replacement is scheduled for construction in 2015.

• A Reid’s Run Bridge project on SR 2003 in Monroe Township is set for a replacement in 2015 and is also listed as a department force bridge.

• A future local bridge project, replacement of Wildcat Run Bridge in Madison Township is slated for 2016.

Clarion County Maintenance Program

Clarion County maintenance had a busy year said County Maintenance Manager

William Olinger. “Our seal coat program last year shot 567,322 gallons of production (and) went into our program seal coats and shoulder seals,” said Olinger.  “In the shoulder cutting program, we did 235.7 miles of shoulders and part of that was work on the interstate area.  We divided the interstate up into four sections and put them on a cycle and that is the first time it has been done in a long time. It’s really helped drainage out there also.”

Spray patching turned out to be productive for many miles in Clarion County, including I-80.

“Last year we put on 142 tons of spray patching,” said Olinger.  “Most of this was done on the interstate, and we found that it holds that center joint and joins the edges better.  It’s better than putting hot mix in there, and it seems to stay in better. I’m going to continue with that.”

Clarion County also operates an agility program with the Clarion County Career Center, Clarion Borough, and the Clarion County Airport. 

“We do stuff for them and they do stuff for us,” said Olinger in summarizing the program.

Other highlights of Clarion County Maintenance included:

• Two low cost safety initiatives.

• Work in connection with the force bridge replacement on State Route 2013 in Huey.

• 235.7 miles of shoulder cutting.

• Pipe replacement that included 1,058 feet of pipe replacement and 1,660 feet of parallel pipe installation.

• A crack sealing program that included 170.9 miles of crack sealing and 163.5 miles of shoulder crack sealing.

• 5,225 feet of under drain were installed.

• 29,471 feet of ditch cleaning was reported.

• The 2014 Summer Surface Improvement Program includes SR 28 from the intersection of SR 536 to the Jefferson County Line and SR 208 from Intersection of SR 322 to Fryburg.

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