STATE COLLEGE, Pa (WTAJ)– For two years now, road work on parts of Atherton Street has, at times, caused heavy traffic delays.
But now, the end of the project’s first phase is in sight.
WTAJ spoke with PennDOT officials who gave an update on when construction will be finished.
They said their current Atherton St. project, from the road’s intersection with Aaron Drive to Park Avenue, will be 100% complete by this Thanksgiving.
PennDOT added that there will be a few delays (lasting a matter of minutes) on this project over the next month.
Previously on this stretch of Atherton, especially during rush hour, road work closed down one lane of traffic heading each direction. Now, this portion of the road is paved, has updated cross-walks, better drainage, and is wider in some spots.
PennDOT says all of these additions will make travel safer and easier for drivers.
However, some in the community have questioned if this project could have been completed faster than it’s two-year time span. Wednesday, WTAJ asked PennDOT if they would’ve done anything differently.
“I don’t think that there’s a whole lot that we could’ve done to expedite the process anymore. A project like this, with the amount of traffic that we have to get through the project…it does take time to do the work. In a perfect world we could close the road and have a ton of crews come in while the work is closed, but unfortunately… we can’t do that type of work,” said Project Inspector Marc Maney, from PennDOT.
He added that it is not feasible to shut down Atherton Street because it’s a main road, and a popular road in State College.
With completion of this portion of the project, planning for work on another section of Atherton has begun.
The next phase will involve roadwork through the downtown area of State College, from the Curtin Road intersection to Westerly Parkway. Construction is set to begin on this project in the Spring of 2021.
A minor project being completed this upcoming May (after Penn State Students leave for summer break) will include work around the Curtin Road intersection. PennDOT says there will be a 500-foot work zone at the intersection where new drains, curbs, sidewalk ramps, paving, and signal upgrades will be made.