The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has reached the end of its summer maintenance season.
From January through October, PennDOT had 71 active work projects taking place in District 1, which includes Erie, Crawford, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.
Paving nearly 100 miles of roadway, seal coating more than 400 miles and replacing, rehabilitating or preserving 37 bridges were some of the work that took place.
The press officer from Penndot said one of their most successful improvements was the completion of the first several phases of the Interstate 90 reconstruction 10-year project.
“We completed the project one year early. There’s probably some minor work to be done next year, so people will have to be aware of the fact that there will be some lane closures,” said John Murcavage, project manager on I-90 reconstruction project, PennDOT.
The most recent portion of the project focused on restoring 7.2 miles of roadway from Exit 3 in Springfield Township to just east of Exit 9 in Girard Township.
This year, the Route 215 bridge opened up, and the westbound lanes were also completed.
Murcavage explained that representatives are satisfied with the product based on how well it did with the International Roughness Index (IRI). The IRI uses a machine to gauge the smoothness of the road.
“What you want is low numbers. The numbers we got in the westbound lane are in the average of the mid to high 20s,” Murcavage added.
The assistant construction engineer said the department was able to add these gates to the project to help control traffic during an emergency situation.
“This was a big push by our fire police and the state police also. A lot of the times in the winter when we do have backups, we have to reroute people, but you need staff for that. Now that eliminates the staff that we need,” said Nate Nunez, assistant construction engineer on I-90 reconstruction project, PennDOT.
“It will be a roadway that stands up over time with the weather and everything for a good amount of time,” said Murcavage.
Moving forward, PennDOT plans to install cable median barriers on this section in 2024.