First Wave Of New Roads Funds Likely To Focus On Smaller Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the next couple years, the engineering needed to widen the northern segment of Route 222 in Berks County is likely to begin.

That’s one of the ways PennDOT and local transportation planners are looking to spend the first round of extra roadwork funds coming to Berks as a result of the recent statewide transportation funding package.

“The increase in state money alone will give us an extra $25 million total over the next four years,” said Alan D. Piper, senior Berks transportation planner.

Planners discussed the money during a Thursday meeting of the Reading Area Transportation Study, the panel that plans transportation spending in Berks.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140110/NEWS/301109921/1052#.UtBFP_RDsxI

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Penn Street Bridge On The Route To Restoration

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the century that the Penn Street Bridge has carried traffic into Reading, not much work other than small-scale repairs have been done to it.

It shows.

Chunks of concrete are missing from its extravagant arches and railings. But more concerning to PennDOT is the deterioration to the beams, deck and supports inside the bridge.

PennDOT plans to start a massive repair in the next couple of years intended to restore Reading’s iconic gateway to its former glory.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=492075

Studies On 2 Berks Highways To Shape Work Plans

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Studies to find out what it would take to make two of Berks County’s most-congested highways a quicker go are now underway.

PennDOT consultants are examining the seven-mile stretch of Route 222 between the Kutztown Bypass in Maxatawny Township and the Trexlertown Bypass in Lehigh County to see how much it would cost to widen it to four lanes.

At the same time, another team is looking at the West Shore Bypass between Wyomissing and Exeter Township to determine what changes could improve traffic flow.

Both studies were discussed Thursday during a meeting of the Reading Area Transportation Study, the panel that plans how state and federal transportation funds are spent in Berks.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=474858

Red Light For Buttonwood Street Bridge Project

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motorists worried about finding alternate routes between Reading and West Reading while the Buttonwood Street Bridge is closed for two years can relax for now.

Bridge repairs, which were scheduled to start about now, have been delayed for a year.  The work now is slated to begin in April 2014.

The hang-up is due largely to the need to figure out where traffic will go while the bridge is closed and getting all the necessary permits and reviews, said Ryan Hunter, Berks County facilities and operations director.

Various reviews are needed for bridges that cross water, railroad tracks and highways, he said.  Buttonwood Street crosses all three.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=471048

Cumru Township Stretch Of Route 724 To Reopen Friday

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania...

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania shield, made to the specifications of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 2003 Edition (sign M1-5). Uses the Roadgeek 2005 fonts. (United States law does not permit the copyrighting of typeface designs, and the fonts are meant to be copies of a U.S. Government-produced work anyway.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of daily commuters who were used to traveling on Route 724 in Cumru Township are getting an early Christmas present.

The 1.5-mile stretch between Route 10 and Interstate 176 is set to reopen Friday afternoon.  It has been closed since August so the Reading Area Water Authority could install a water main.

“The paving’s pretty much done and everything’s been tested,” said Alan Wong, construction manager.

Crews are adding finishing touches, like line painting, and PennDOT needs to inspect the stretch, he said.  Another layer of asphalt will be added in spring, but that won’t delay the reopening.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=437832

End In Sight For Route 724 Construction In Reading

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania...

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania shield, made to the specifications of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 2003 Edition (sign M1-5). Uses the Roadgeek 2005 fonts. (United States law does not permit the copyrighting of typeface designs, and the fonts are meant to be copies of a U.S. Government-produced work anyway.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the roadblocks went up on Route 724, Melanie Degler’s commute to her job in Douglassville instantly became 10 minutes longer.

The bit of the highway she usually takes to get on Interstate 176 and then Route 422 from her home in Cumru Township’s Flying Hills development was closed so the Reading Area Water Authority could install a 16-inch main.

Now, she has to go south on Route 10 only to come back north on the interstate.

“We don’t have a lot of streets here to take as alternatives, so you have to go out of your way to go around it,” Degler said.

Read more:

http://www.ydr.com/state/ci_21976031/end-sight-route-724-construction-reading

I-176 Work To Snarl Traffic

List of Interstate Highways in Pennsylvania

List of Interstate Highways in Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motorists using Interstate 176 near the West Shore Bypass soon will encounter a construction site that’s bound to cause some huge backups over the next two years.

In August, crews are expected to start a $14.7 million project to rebuild the northern end of the interstate in Cumru Township. The work will focus on the half-mile stretch from Route 724 to Route 422.

“It’s mainly to reduce congestion in the area of that interchange and also to increase safety,” said PennDOT spokesman Ronald J. Young Jr.

PennDOT recently gave the contractor, Pittsburgh-based Trumbull Corp., the OK to begin the work.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=399038