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PennDOT looks to improve dangerous intersection

PennDOT staff on Monday night discussed potential improvements to the intersection of state routes 26 and 45 outside of Pine Grove Mills.
PennDOT staff on Monday night discussed potential improvements to the intersection of state routes 26 and 45 outside of Pine Grove Mills. psheehan@centredaily.com

PennDOT is looking at three options to improve safety and traffic flow at the intersection at state routes 26 and 45 near Pine Grove Mills.

The project is going through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Connects” process, aimed at gathering public input early in the design phase.

The three options were on public display prior to the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors meeting Monday night, and a formal presentation was then given to the board.

According to Jennie McCracken, of AECOM, PennDOT’s consultant, 9,000 vehicles per day travel through the intersection on state Route 26 and 6,000 travel through on state Route 45.

In the past five years, there have been 35 crashes at the intersection, McCracken said, a number that’s 25 percent higher than predicted for a similar type of intersection.

In the first option, a traffic signal would be installed and Route 26 would be widened to include a left-turn lane, said Stacie Luxon, of AECOM.

The second option is similar to the first, except that it would realign Route 45 to meet up with Route 26 at a 90-degree angle, she said.

The third option would install a two-lane roundabout with a speed limit of 25 mph, Luxon said.

All of the options would have similar environmental impacts because each affects the bridge, she said.

The first option would result in a 28 percent reduction of crashes; the second with a 47 percent reduction; and the third with a 32 percent reduction, McCracken said.

The first option would cost $4.4 million; the second $4.9 million; and the third $7.8 million, she said.

PennDOT will next consider the public comments before giving a recommendation to the supervisors, said Tom Zurat, of PennDOT’s District 2 office.

The project is two to three years away from a construction start, he said.

In any scenario, the township will have some ownership responsibility at the intersection — whether it be paying for a traffic signal maintenance and operating costs or the lighting costs in the roundabout, Zurat said.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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