Erie County, PA (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) – An additional construction project on northwest Pennsylvania’s Interstate 90 is finishing up early.
From a release on Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced the reconstruction of nearly seven miles of I-90 and the Route 18 interchange in Erie County has been completed.
“Early in this project, it became a focus of our inspection and oversight crew to coordinate with our contractor, Lindy Paving, to facilitate quick work that still provided a safe environment and a quality product for motorists,” said District 1 Executive Brian McNulty, P.E. “Because of that collaborative mindset, the team was able to overcome some unexpected obstacles and complete the major work in 2023, leaving only minor finishing activities to be done in the final year of the contract.”
Work in 2023 focused on reconstructing the westbound lanes of the interstate from near mile marker 3.5 to near mile marker 10.5 in Springfield and Girard townships and Platea Borough and is expected to wrap up by the end of October. It is the final major work in the $66.1 million project that started in 2021.
The only work expected in 2024 is to install a cable median barrier, which will require only short-term lane closures. The contract originally called for major work every year of the project, which would require concrete barriers, long-term lane restrictions and detours.
“The mile markers 3.5 to 10.5 project was one of the largest design undertakings by our in-house team at the time, which resulted in a large savings for taxpayers,” McNulty said. “It also gave us an opportunity to make safety improvements that should benefit motorists and first responders, and roadway upgrades that will lead to savings on maintenance costs for years to come.”
Part of those safety and roadway improvements McNulty mentions include:
- Constructing two teardrop roundabouts at Exit 9 (Route 18, Girard/Platea)
- Installing ramp gates at Exit 6 (Route 215, East Springfield/Albion) and Exit 9
- Replacing bridges over Nieger Road with culverts to allow for trail and motor vehicle traffic under the highway
- New bridges with higher vertical clearance at McKee Road, Route 18 and Route 215
- Upgrading highway lighting, drainage and guide rails and intersection improvements at Underridge and Rea roads
According to the release, the project is phases 2 and 3 of a larger plan to reconstruct or restore approximately 28 miles of I-90 in 10 years.
This summer, work also ended early on a contract to repave 10 miles of I-90 and make other improvements from the I-86 interchange at mile marker 35 to the New York state line in Harborcreek, Greenfield and North East townships.
Originally, that work started in late 2022 and was expected to run through the 2023 construction season.
Included in the overall I-90 plan was reconstruction work on the first 3.5 miles of the interstate, which was completed between 2019 to 2021. A proposed plan to reconstruct the highway from mile marker 10.5 to mile marker 18, as well as replace Beckman Road Bridge, is in design now with construction expected to start in 2028.