PennDOT begins work on the largest roundabout in the region.
Since 2017, PennDOT has been talking with residents and business owners in Meadville to discuss possible changes to one busy intersection in Vernon Township.
Routes 6 and 19 intersect with Route 322, but some people say they’re eager to see what upgrades PennDOT will make.
Alan Flick, Owner of Flick’s Appliances, says, “That offramp has always been kind of a safety issue here because people tend to drive a little fast when they’re coming off of there. And if I have people leaving my parking lot… That could be a challenge for them.”
About 12,000 vehicles pass through this intersection daily. PennDOT officials say this project, which officially began Monday, will improve safety.
“They were studying that intersection and trying to determine how to make it safer and more efficient and through that study, they decided that a roundabout was the best way to achieve both those goals.”
This roundabout will be twice as big as we’re used to seeing around here and have multiple lanes. But, PennDOT says it will improve safety for those passing through and people visiting the nearby businesses.
Harry says, “During the planning process, we had meetings and we went out and talked to people about what we were planning to do there, explain to them why and how it would be implemented, and then how the traffic would change as it flowed through that intersection.”
And, while Flick says he does have some concerns about accessibility to his business during the construction, being a part of the planning process from the beginning has eased his mind.
“Myself, I’ve had a dialogue with PennDOT through that time period. I try to keep in touch with them with questions and concerns about the project.”
Harry says, “Again, we want people to feel comfortable once it opens. That they’ll go up into that area and know how to get into the different lanes and where to turn when they want to get to the different businesses so it can flow the way it’s intended to.
As Phase One begins on the project, the first step is removing the hanging traffic lights to make way for heavy equipment.
Temporary traffic lights will be put in place during construction.
The project is expected to be completed by October of this year.