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Summer Construction Season Leads to Traffic Obstacle Course

by on May 21, 2014 7:15 AM

Everywhere you turn -- and in some cases you can't -- it seems like there's another construction project on State College streets.

Added to the ever-lengthening list of traffic tie-ups -- a new lane blockage along University Drive next to Beaver Stadium. Northbound traffic is being pushed into the center turn lane, and that is sometimes causing back ups at the intersection where University meets Park Avenue.

PennDot is warning of likely delays in areas near the stadium while workers are widening the east side of the road and building new sidewalks. It's part of a project to expand the parking lot on the west side of the stadium.

The lane restrictions will not effect southbound traffic on University. The construction project should be finished by mid-June as long as there are no weather-related delays.

Just around the corner, Penn State says the installation of new scoreboards at Beaver Stadium will result in traffic detours for several weeks. Curtin Road is now closed between the stadium and Porter Road. Drivers trying to reach Porter Road will have to head north on University Drive and east on Park Avenue. That detour is scheduled to wrap up by June 30.

Elsewhere on campus, Curtin Road is closed from Burrowes Street to the Forum Building while workers install a high-pressure gas line. It's part of a major project that will convert the West Campus Steam Plant from coal to gas. Curtin Road isn't supposed to reopen until Aug. 1.

Don't forget there's also a construction project underway on Park Avenue where work crews are replacing an existing gas pipeline. On Tuesday Flaggers were stationed near the Nittany Lion Inn. Only one lane of traffic is getting through that construction project at a time.

On the other side of the Penn State campus, a water pipeline project continues on College Avenue. At least one lane is blocked off  between Burrowes Street and Atherton Street. Workers are replacing a water main that's believed to be 100 years old. That project will slowly move eastward from near Atherton Street to Heister Street. The project is slated for completion in mid-August.

Meantime, Columbia Gas crews are also replacing gas lines on Garner Street. You can expect temporary lane closures in that area until the work is completed sometime around the first week of July.

And on top of all that, several State College roads will be repaved at various times during the summer. According to Mark Whitfield, the borough's public works director, that includes sections of University Drive, Buckhout Street, Ridge Avenue, Edgewood Circle, Sunset Road, Ferguson Avenue, Sparks Street, Hamilton Avenue, and all of Fry Drive.

State College plans to spend about $1.2 million on road repairs, maintenance and resurfacing.

And if State College Borough Council awards bids, a streetscape project will mean lane restrictions on Pugh Street between College Avenue and Beaver Avenues.

The best advice is to try and grin and bear it, plan alternate routes, or leave yourself extra time to get around.

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Steve Bauer is Managing Editor & Chief Content Officer at StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy. You can e-mail Steve at Steve.Bauer@StateCollege.com and you can follow him on Twitter @SteveBauerSCcom
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