Federal grant to pave way for lights at busy Pa. intersection

September 06, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Traffic through two intersections in the Borough of Mercersburg should improve now that $425,000 in federal funds have been designated for the project, a borough councilman said Thursday.

Thomas Heefner said borough officials have been trying for years to get the state highway department to install a traffic light on Pa. 16 (Main Street) at its intersection with Pa. Routes 75 and 416 in the borough's north end.

"We'd been after PennDOT to put a light there for a long time, but they said they wouldn't do it until the borough had the money in hand to pay for it," Heefner said. The borough was never able to come up with the money.


"This is a windfall for us," Heefner said.

The money goes directly to PennDOT for the project through the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa.

According to a press release, Shuster found the money in a road-widening project in Washington Township whose low bid came in under budget.

That project involves construction of a $4.4 million truck lane on Pa. 16 east of Waynesboro that runs up the mountain to Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

The three-road intersection in Mercersburg is the site of traffic bottlenecks, especially in the afternoon when buses from the Tuscarora School District's three schools pass through it.

Heefner said borough police officers usually direct traffic through the intersection on good days. One officer was struck on a rainy day when a vehicle coming east on Pa. 16 was unable to stop in time on the slippery roadway, he said.

Heefner said a new light in the north end will include some roadwork to remake the corner so trucks heading north onto 16 from 75 and 416 can make the turn.

PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said both traffic signals will be synchronized.

The borough will be responsible for maintenance of the new traffic signals once they are installed.

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