WEXFORD (KDKA) – This time of year, local students are always hoping for a two-hour delay or even a school closure.
However, in a few weeks, some high school students will have to face a slightly earlier wakeup, and they have a major road project to thank.
The construction vehicles are sitting quietly along Route 19 for now, but buried in the snow are the first signs of spring.
Jim Yingling isn’t bracing for the sun.
“I can imagine when four lanes get squeezed to two, it’s going to be a real mess,” Yingling said.
Markers frame the space where PennDOT plans to expand Route 19 through the Wexford Flats area and add a turning lane. Prep work officially started on Monday.
While Yingling will see part of Route 19 expand into his property, he doesn’t expect a big impact.
“If people are going to go get their car fixed or buy a car, but the small impulse buys, I think people are going to avoid Wexford,” Yingling said.
One place that many people can’t avoid is the nearby North Allegheny High School. It sits in the middle of the zone, and getting around is enough of a concern that the district is changing its bell schedule.
The high school day will move up five minutes to start at 7:25 a.m. with classes running until 2:15 p.m. Middle schools will move back from 8:10 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and let out at 3:10 p.m. Elementary school will start 9:10 a.m. and go until 3:40 p.m.
In addition to doing utility work during off-peak hours, PennDOT said the lane closures will last between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. That will help accommodate some of the North Allegheny traffic.
In the meantime, a lot of people who live and work up and down that stretch of road said they are preparing for a long two years.