WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) – PennDOT is finally ready to finish off a major road project south of the Meadows Casino in Washington County nearly 45 years after starting the work.

However, it’s going to mean some possible headaches for drivers.

For decades, the Meadow Lands Interchange of Interstate 79 has always been missing something.

“Right now, you have the northbound off-ramp and the southbound on-ramp. There will be a southbound off-ramp and a northbound on-ramp. The diamond will be completed,” Project Manager Dominic Caruso said.

That means construction pain is on the way. Starting tonight, those two ramps at the Meadow Lands Interchange will close. Nearby Locust and Manifold Roads will also close and detours will be set up in the area.

“The way they run, they’ll run you to Pike Road to [Route] 19 to Racetrack Road and loop you around to Manifold, or utilize Country Club road,” Caruso said.

By the end of next year, twin bridges will span the road. The project was originally planned back when I-79 opened in 1966.

They were never finished because there weren’t enough people living nearby.

“We will maintain two lanes of [I-79] during the daylight hours. At nighttime, you might see nighttime, whether it be one lane shut down from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” Caruso said.

Pike Street will close past the train tracks, while crews tear up and rebuild a bridge deck. But they’ll be up against the clock because later this summer because part of it has to reopen.

“It will help things out and it is a big project with varied time constraints because we have to get everything back open in town for the Washington County Fair,” Caruso said.

The entire project won’t be completed until November of 2012.

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