By Kaylee Lindenmuth | firstname.lastname@example.org
SHENANDOAH - Despite concerns regarding funding for one major road project in our area, another remains on-track.
A project to reconstruct Route 924 from the Pattersonville/Brandonville split north of Shenandoah, through Shenandoah and Gilberton to the northern border of Frackville is funded and nearly through the design phase, PennDOT officials said Friday.
"It is anticipated to begin construction next summer," said Ron Young, District Press Officer for PennDOT District 5. "We hope to place a contract out for bids early in 2020."
The estimated $8.1 Million project includes resurfacing the highway, including the Gilberton interchange ramps, and installing new traffic signals throughout Shenandoah's downtown area.
Along the same highway, the Gilberton bridge reconstruction project also remains on track, Young said.
"The PA 924 Gilberton Bridge began in April and is on schedule to be completed in May 2021," Young said.
On the other side of Frackville, though, a project to rehabilitate the Frackville/St. Clair grade section of Route 61 isn't fully funded as of yet, according to a state Senate Majority Policy Committee meeting held yesterday in Blandon, Berks County.
That planned project, estimated to cost $65 Million, would reconstruct and, in some cases, re-align Route 61 from the area of the former Schuylkill Mall to the area of Darkwater.
PennDOT officials, at that meeting, said they have two-thirds of the money needed for the design phase, and the project is "limping along," as the agency reallocates funding to federally-mandated interstate highway projects.
The southbound side of Route 61 has been reduced to one lane for some time now as the passing lane, closest to the ridgeline, is unstable.
Young said that the design phase is estimated to last through the middle of 2022, and that PennDOT "is optimistic the next Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA) Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) update in 2022 will include funding to construct the project."
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