Downtown State College water line work to affect College Avenue starting in May

mcarroll@centredaily.comApril 21, 2014 

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College Avenue in downtown State College is regularly plagued by heavy traffic. Water line work will cause further delays for most of the summer.

NABIL K. MARK — CDT file photo

— Motorists traveling through downtown can expect delays starting in May.

Construction is expected to get underway next month and continue through August on a project to replace a main water line on College Avenue between Hiester and Atherton streets.

Crews will work on the project one or two blocks at a time, and when under construction those sections will be reduced to one lane of traffic.

Parking on the downtown side of College Avenue will also be restricted in the sections that are under construction, borough officials have said.

Because the project is expected to cause traffic delays on a busy section of road, officials in charge of the project asked Borough Council earlier this year to extend hours crews can work.

Council approved the request in February, extending the cap on night construction hours from 7 to 11 p.m.

At the time, an engineer for the project said that the additional hours will shave 25 days off the project.

The new schedule will likely allow two crews per day to work on the project.

With the extended hours, work on the water line is expected to be finished by Aug. 1, officials said at the time.

Additional work, such as making handicapped-accessible curb cuts, would still need to be done.

Construction will be prohibited from taking place during downtown celebrations such as the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and for Penn State student move-in and home football weekends, should the project extend to late summer.

Downtown business owners and community members urged council to allow the longer construction hours.

“This project is a significant and will have quite an impact on our downtown,” George Arnold, Downtown State College Improvement District executive director said in Feburary.

“It adds a level of difficulty for our visitors and shoppers to get around and these projects impact all of us. The sooner it can be completed, the better it will be for everybody.”

The project will replace a 100-year-old, 4- and 6-inch cast-iron water supply line with a new 12-inch line.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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