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PennDOT Expects To Invest $240 Million In the Region This Year, Way Less Than Planned

Gene J. Puskar

PennDOT officials said Wednesday that they’re excited to start work on major repairs in Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties during the 2021 construction season. The 89 projects range from redoing the on and off ramps on Pittsburgh’s Highland Park bridge to an upgrade of Freedom Road that will complete a vital connection between Beaver and Butler counties.District executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said despite a great list of projects, funding shortages have put them way behind on maintenance, and they’re applying Band-Aids where they can.

“That’s not a way we really should be doing business,” she said, citing a stretch of Business Loop 376 in Moon Township that they will cover with a special surface to prevent further deterioration until they can really fix it. “We’d like to be putting down the proper treatments at the proper times but we just can’t afford that right now. So we’re struggling.”

District 11 expects to start $241 million dollars worth of work this year, about $80 million less than originally planned.

Major projects in Allegheny County include widening the I-376 bridge over Bates Street to ease congestion and improve safety at that exit; completing upgrades to East Carson Street from 33rd Street to Smithfield Street; finishing the I-579 cap project that will connect the Hill District to downtown; and addressing one of the final bottlenecks on Route 28 between Delafield Avenue and RIDC Drive.

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