EIGHTY-FOUR, Pa. (KDKA) — Get ready for unprecedented road construction on Interstate 70 between Washington and Westmoreland counties this spring and summer.
The plan involves a host of projects that will include lane restrictions and reduced speed limits. State police sent almost a dozen troopers out today to begin a summer-long crackdown.
Construction barricades are already in full bloom on what is going to be an extraordinary year of construction from Washington to New Stanton.
“This year, we are really going to go into full swing,” said Jay Ofsanik, of PennDOT.
It’s an overall improvement to a corridor that is decades-old and desperately in need of driver elbow room.
Previewing 2 of the biggest projects:
All along the stretch, you are going to be driving in and out of construction projects as many of the interchanges will see work. Police say slowing down to 45 miles per hour is not optional.
“A lot of times there are intermittent lane closures that happen in there, sometimes the lanes are narrower, sometimes there are barriers up along the side of the construction zone that make a lot of people nervous when they drive,” said Trooper Matthew Jardine, of Pennsylvania State Police.
It’s hazardous for construction workers and drivers.
“In reality, as many or more motorists die in work zones than workers,” said Ofsanik.
So the state police have launched a summer of strict enforcement that will come from patrol cars, PennDOT vehicles used as cover, and patrols from the air. They’ll be in the construction zones and out.
“The inclination is to get on the gas and get moving and get around the car that was slow in front of you, as a result, we anticipate that, so we’re going to have additional patrols out all along I-70 from now until the end of summer,” said Trooper Jardine.