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If you commute through the Seven Mountains, expect a detour Monday

Anyone planing to drive through the U.S. Route 322 construction zone from Mifflin to Centre county on Monday can expect a detour, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The westbound detour using state Route 144 north and Route 45 west will be in place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., PennDOT said in a release. Flaggers will be placed at the U.S. Route 322 and state Route 144 intersection, as well as at Old Fort Road at the Route 144/45 intersection.

The detour will be in place while crews work to pave the western end of the project. Eastbound traffic will remain on Route 322.

In addition, the long-term crossover from Decker Valley Road to Sand Mountain Road remains in place, with one lane open in each direction about a mile east of Potters Mills. There is a 14-foot width restriction for westbound traffic and a 15-foot width restriction for eastbound traffic within the crossover.

Work will also continue off the roadway, and drivers should be alert for construction vehicles entering and exiting Route 322 in the Potters Mills Gap area.

The construction is part of the third and final phase of the approximately $93 million project, which was started in 2015 with the purpose of improving safety and reducing congestion over the mountain from the Centre/Mifflin county line to west of the Route 322/144 intersection at Potters Mills.

The first two phases included the construction of a new bridge at Sand Mountain Road, tree removal and the creation of the new Sand Mountain Road local interchange. The final phase is reconstructing the highway from Sand Mountain Road to Potters Mills with the four-lane extension, drainage work and building a new intersection with Route 144 that will be part of the new local access road. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

Motorists making the commute over the mountain can keep up-to-date on traffic conditions and travel delays by visiting www.511PA.com, following @511StateCollege or calling 511. PennDOT also has a message board up ahead of the construction zone to give motorists an idea of wait times.

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