The congested Route 19 corridor in the Wexford Flats area of Pine and McCandless townships will be taken down to single lanes each way with a shared center lane for turns starting Thursday night, PennDOT announced.
The long-term change is part of the $18.1 million Wexford Flats Improvement Project that will widen Route 19/Perry Highway, said James B. Struzzi II, press officer for PennDOT.
The improvements affect 2.33 miles of Route 19 from about 300 feet north of Longvue Road, near the top of Pine Creek Hill, to just north of North Chapel/Manor Road, Struzzi said in a press release.
Crews have been working since late January on clearing areas along the road and relocating utilities to prepare for road construction, according to PennDOT.
Beginning Thursday night, traffic will be reduced to a single 10-foot-wide lane in each direction with a 10-foot-wide shared center turning lane provided. Traffic will be shifted onto the east side of Route 19 to allow space for the construction activities.
"Motorists should be prepared for changing traffic patterns. Please slow down and drive safely through the work zone," Struzzi said in the press release. "Access will be provided for all businesses along Route 19 in the construction zone."
The safety and congestion improvement project will widen Route 19 from 42 feet to 63 feet adding a center turn lane, curbed gutters and sidewalks, Struzzi said in the release.
New, improved traffic signals will be added at eight intersections in the project area.
Overall work is scheduled to conclude in late 2012.
The Route 19 Wexford Flats Improvement Project includes widening, bituminous resurfacing, concrete pavement, drainage, curb and sidewalk, signing and pavement marking, signals and a retaining wall.
About 28,000 vehicles use this section of Route 19 on an average day, PennDOT said.
PennDOT 's prime contractor for the project is the Golden Triangle Construction Co. Inc. of Imperial.