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Drivers getting a roadwork respite

September 01, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Gas prices have gone up, but anyone driving in the Chambersburg area over the Labor Day weekend will not have the added inconvenience of dealing with construction crews and equipment over the holiday.

The construction zones, however, still will be there, said Ray Alden, a project manager on the U.S. 30 widening project east of Chambersburg.

"What you see is pretty much what you'll get," Alden said Wednesday afternoon. The south side of U.S. 30 east of Stouffer Avenue out to about the 1400 block of Lincoln Way East is still undergoing reconstruction with excavation, filling and paving going on this week and resuming after the holiday, Alden said.

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Paving has been mostly completed from Stouffer Avenue to the truck entrance of the Franklin Center shopping center, but the main entrance at the traffic light is closed while work is going on there, he said.

The Quarry Road intersection on the south side of the highway, which has been closed this week, should reopen by Friday, Alden said. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, however, Stouffer Avenue will be closed for three days while crews finish adding a right-turn lane and paving the intersection.

The area now undergoing reconstruction is on schedule for completion near the end of September, Alden said. There could be one complication, he said.

"It's a blacktop supply problem," which is directly affected by oil supplies, Alden said. Road work season is in high gear and so is the demand for asphalt, but one of its main components is oil.

Nighttime driving on Interstate 81 north of Exit 16 will be easier over the holiday weekend. Paving between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. has traffic closed down to one lane, but that will be suspended over the weekend, and all northbound and southbound lanes will be open.

Another U.S. 30 project on the western side of Franklin County will begin Tuesday, Alden said. The section of the highway west of Fort Loudon, Pa., to the top of the mountain will be repaved over the next two months, he said.

"There'll be a pilot car on that operation," Alden said.

Because of the road's many curves in that section, traffic going up and down the mountain will be escorted through construction areas by pilot cars during the project.

While the work is ongoing, Alden said drivers heading for McConnellsburg, Pa., should consider taking Pa. 16 over the mountain.

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