Thursday, October 4, 2018

Route 61 Between Frackville and St. Clair to be Reconstructed

On Tuesday evening a meeting was held to reveal a plan to the public, area residents, public officials, and a other concerned parties, a project that will reconstruct Route 61 between Frackville and Saint Clair.

In a synopsis of the project provided by Sean Brown, the Safety Press Officer for PennDOT District 5,

"The S.R. 0061, Section 14M project involves the total reconstruction of the northbound and southbound travel lanes between St. Clair Borough and Frackville Borough (4.5 miles). The total reconstruction involves the replacement of the existing pavement, shoulder, drainage, guide rail, pavement markings and signing. Other project features include the realignment of Route 61 in three location to eliminate tight curves, widening to provide for a consistent 8 foot right shoulder and the repair or replacement of nine structures and various retaining walls. "

In a preliminary schedule provided, the project is planned to take 5 years to complete and will be done in 4 stages.

Over those stages, traffic is both directions will be changed to single lane with both lanes being diverted to the Northbound or Southbound side while work is being done on the opposing lanes.

During the winter season, work is expected to be completed with roadways being restored to allow 2 lanes of travel in each direction.

Proposed changes in the plan included
 - eliminating the tight curves such as the S Curve Closer to Saint Clair and the Dead Man's Curve in the Southbound lane.  Both will require work that will cut through the mountain-side for Southbound lanes.
 - adding an addition lane for northbound traffic near the intersection with Darkwater Road
 - Widening the Route 61 in Frackville near Speedway (Hess Gas Station) and Granny's to allow additional turning lanes for northbound traffic to turn into the gas station or Altamont Boulevard.

Proposed changes from PennDOT

A video was provided by PennDOT showing a comparison of the current state with the proposed changes.