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New Pa. 16 passing lane opens ahead of schedule

November 08, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

State Sen. Terry Punt on Friday cut a ribbon for the $4.4 million addition of a truck passing lane on a two-mile stretch of Pa. 16 that starts at Red Run Park and ends on top of the mountain at Charmian Road.

Before the widening project, vehicles often took 10 to 15 minutes crawling behind the big rigs as they made their way up the steep grade, said Barry Hoffman of the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.

Hoffman said lack of a passing lane on the former two-lane stretch created a dangerous situation when impatient drivers tried to pass the slow-moving trucks.

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Punt, R-Waynesboro, was instrumental in securing the money for the project.

Construction began in August 2002 with a targeted completion date of the end of this month. Punt, in remarks at Friday's ceremony, praised Valley Quarries Inc. of Chambersburg, the main contractor, for finishing before the deadline.

Greg Penny, PennDOT spokesman, said more than 10,000 vehicles travel that section of Pa. 16 daily.

The project included adding a 12-foot wide truck lane, new shoulders and guard rails plus left turn lanes at Beartown Road and the intersection of Charmian Road and Old Route 16.

The addition of the truck passing lane is part of an ongoing upgrade of Pa. 16 in and around Waynesboro, Punt said.

PennDOT engineers are working on a project to synchronize the traffic control lights through downtown Waynesboro, including the Public Square. The $1.2 million project is scheduled for completion in 2005, Punt said.

The pedestrian walkway that will connect the borough of Waynesboro with Wayne Heights Mall is also undergoing PennDOT engineering studies, Punt said. Work on that project, pegged at $400,000, is to begin in the spring.

Other Pa. 16 projects completed in the Waynesboro area include widening and center turn lanes at Old Forge Road and Midvale Road and modernizing the intersection of Roadside and Virginia avenues in Waynesboro plus a new center turn lane at the Grove company in Shady Grove, Pa., he said.

PennDOT also built a new road salt storage facility, including a three-bay barn on a 5-acre tract it owns off the access road to the Washington Township recycling facility off Pa. 16.

Friday's ceremony took place at the new storage facility.

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