As construction on Atherton St. wraps up, WTAJ examines how traffic delays impacted CATA

Local News

STATE COLLEGE, Pa (WTAJ)– The end of a two year road improvement project on Atherton Street is in sight.

Road work has, at times, caused heavy traffic delays, but PennDOT says by this Thanksgiving their current project will be 100% complete.

But, two years of heavy traffic has had an impact on some Centre Co. businesses… including those who make a living by arriving on-time.

Below is the story:

After driving over bumpy roads, and waiting behind lines of cars, drivers on Atherton Street (from Aaron Drive to Park Avenue) now have a smooth and mostly uninterrupted ride.

With the project’s anticipated completion, there’s now newly paved roads and updated pedestrian cross-walks.

“All that we need to finish now is some line painting to finish up, guide rail upgrades to do, signing installation, and just some minor touch-up work… odds and ends that need completed,” said Project Inspector Marc Maney, from PennDOT.

Maney said there will be a few delays (lasting a matter of minutes) “hear-and-there” but nothing compared to the heavy volume traffic experienced over the couple years.

However, it’s this bumper-to-bumper traffic, especially during rush hour, that’s kept CATA buses behind schedule.

“I’ve been with CATA for 34 years and this project has had the most profound impact on our service integrity in that entire 34 years,” said Eric Bernier, Director of Information Services for CATA.

Bernier says buses driving a route through the Atherton project are not as full as they used to be.

“It did affect our ridership. The first year it wasn’t so bad… but by the second year, and particularly towards the end of this year… we saw a significant drop in ridership,” Bernier said citing the fact that project traffic has resulted in unreliable pick-up times.

Now, with limited delays on the road, Bernier hopes riders will return to CATA.

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