286 public plans display

The summertime work on Route 286 (Oakland Avenue) from Philadelphia Street in Indiana Borough to Rustic Lodge Road in White Township is near completion.

“The contractor still has some punch list items to address, but (there) should be minimal impact to traffic,” PennDOT District 10 spokeswoman Jamie Arehart said this week.

The work that began in July was part of a $1.4 million contract awarded to A. Folino Construction of Oakmont, Allegheny County. Much of that work took place at night.

Soon, attention will shift to the long-awaited $17.5 million project focused on widening Route 286 between Rustic Lodge Road and the Route 422 interchange.

“We’ve had congestion through that corridor,” said Byron G. Stauffer Jr., executive director of the Indiana County Office of Planning & Development. He said his agency and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission were involved with the state transportation department “for a year or more” in the planning process.

PennDOT District 10 is advertising for bids for that work, which comes between the summertime work near the downtown Indiana business district and the widening and construction some years ago in the vicinity of the Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park.

That work entailed additional lanes near the Routes 422-286 interchange and installation of a traffic signal at the entrance to Windy Ridge, where Urban Outfitters Inc. has been building a product fulfillment center .

“The anticipated notice to proceed for construction is (Nov. 25),” said Kurt J. Kretchman, senior civil engineer supervisor for transportation at the District 10 offices in Indiana.

That’s a little behind what was projected by the district’s senior project manager, Mark Rozich, at a presentation in March, where he said PennDOT hoped to seek bids by mid-August, choose a contractor in September and start the work in October.

Either way, once work begins it is expected to take 30 months to complete, with actual paving work set for 2021.

“Moving through the 2020 construction season motorists can expect to see installation of (erosion and sediment) controls along the length of the project and earthwork for several detention basins,” Kretchman said. “The majority of work being performed in 2020 will include utility relocations. This will include field surveys, setting and relocating new poles, transferring lines to the new poles and sanitary and waterline relocations.”

Utilities also have to be shifted. In addition, plans over the next two years include lane additions, as well as intersection improvements and facilities for bicycles and pedestrians.

“That’s a nice safety improvement,” Stauffer said of widened sidewalks in the project area.

Also on the agenda is construction of a box culvert bridge in the vicinity of the Rustic Lodge and Roseann’s Everyday Gourmet.