Current North Atherton Street Roadwork Nearing Completion
June 26, 2020 4:38 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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The final portion of PennDOT's current North Atherton Street project is nearing the finish line, though drivers may still encounter some delays before completion.

Work is expected to be completed over the next three weeks, according to PennDOT.

On Tuesday, the contractor will remove long-term traffic controls and perform line eradication and painting between Park Avenue and White Course Drive, in the area of Curtin Road. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction while this work is being performed, and motorists should expect delays.

For the remainder of work on the project, traffic control will involve short-term lane closures that will be lifted at the end of each work day. Flaggers will be present directing traffic around the work area, and traffic may be stopped for short periods. Remaining work includes paving, line painting, sign installation, seeding, and pipe inspection.

No work is scheduled from Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5. 

The overall project has taken place over the past three years between Aaron Drive and White Course Drive, with relocation of numerous utility, water and sewer lines, drainage improvements, curbing, sidewalks, ADA ramps, traffic signal upgrades, new concrete median, and paving.

Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. is the contractor on the $12.8 million job.

Final work this summer was initially scheduled to include installation of underground steel utility casings across Atherton for future use as a utility crossing by Penn State. That would have involved 24-hour work with a detour over a weekend, but PennDOT District 2 press officer Timothy Nebgen said on Friday that Penn State elected not to move forward with it.

Penn State's West Campus development may result in additional North Atherton Street roadwork this summer as the university is looking to add a turning lane a White Course Drive. Nebgen said the application for a Highway Occupancy Permit is currently under review. The turning lane is separate from PennDOT's Atherton Street project and won't begin until current work has concluded.

Work on the turning lane would take about a month, with similar traffic controls as what is currently in place. Nebgen said his understanding is that the university hopes to have the work completed before the fall semester begins on Aug. 24.

PennDOT's Atherton Street improvements include plans for two more phases. The next will stretch from White Course Drive to the Westerly Parkway intersection on South Atherton Street, but Nebgen said that phase is not expected to be bid until October 2021. Substantial work would not begin until the 2022 construction season, though some utility relocation could take place next year.

The final phase of the project will reconstruct South Atherton from Westerly Parkway to the University Drive intersection.

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