A $5.6 million project will improve a section of Route 19-Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon this year and, as a bonus, eliminate an annoying bottleneck at its intersection with Gilkeson and Connor roads.
Scheduled to start next month, the project calls for milling the old asphalt, repairing the concrete base and repaving from Alfred Street in the municipality's business district to Gilkeson and Connor, said Heath Butler, assistant construction engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Traffic signals will be upgraded at Route 19 intersections with Mt. Lebanon Boulevard, Longevue-Woodhaven-Crestvue Manor drives, Mayfair Drive, Main Entrance Drive, Cochran Road, Jefferson Drive, Castle Shannon Boulevard, Lebanon Avenue, Central Square and Gilkeson-Connor, and on Gilkeson at Galleria Drive.
A drainage problem on the northbound side of Route 19 just north of Gilkeson and Connor will be corrected with installation of about 2,000 feet of pipe, Mr. Butler said. Water currently flows onto the road, creating a hazard in freezing weather.
Possibly the most attractive feature of the project will be on Gilkeson Road, where medians will be torn out and the road restriped to accommodate two through lanes eastbound onto Connor, while preserving dedicated left- and right-turn lanes to Route 19.
Currently, only one lane goes through to Connor, causing backups beyond the Galleria Mall entrance and conflicts as drivers try to merge from the right-turn lane into the jammed through lane.
"That's going to be a major improvement," Mr. Butler said.
Traffic restrictions, typically single-lane patterns, will be confined to nonpeak hours, nights and weekends, he said. In consultation with the municipality, PennDOT has worked out a schedule that allows the contractor to work up to 40 nights on milling and resurfacing and 10 nights installing the pipe.
"That's obviously for noise issues," he said. "We've really done everything we can to do the work in a quality fashion and still allow the residents to get their sleep."
Completion of the work is scheduled for late November or early December.