The state Department of Transportation, Trumbull Corp. and a representative from Gannett Fleming came together Thursday night to explain the Route 15 project and answer concerns area residents had about the construction process.
The $60 million project consists of resurfacing the existing northbound lanes from the Route 14 Interchange to the Route 184 interchange and realignment and reconstruction of the northbound lanes from the Route 184 interchange to the Route 284 interchange.
The project also includes realignment of the southbound lanes from the Route 284 interchange to the Route 14 interchange.
Overall the road is going to be made safer for motorists. The northbound lanes, from the top of the mountain down to Buttonwood are going to be completely realigned, according to David A. Hamlet, senior project manager for Gannett Fleming, the company that designed the road, said.
"The curves are going to be flattened and designed to handle cars traveling at 70 miles per hour," Hamlet said. He said the road will then have a new speed limit of 65 miles per hour.
The southbound lanes, from the Fry Brothers Turkey Ranch extending south, will undergo "big" changes, Hamlet said.
"The roadway will be pulled over closer to the northbound lanes," he said. The lanes will actually be pulled into the mountain and these lanes will also be able to be reposted to 65 miles per hour.
The road is dangerous because although it looks and feels like a highway, there are access points to local roads along the route, which can pose many dangers, according to Hamlet.
When the project is complete, local roads will only be accessible by on and off ramps which will make the road safer.
There were several emergency fire police at the meeting, which was held at the Trout Run Fire Co., that were concerned with emergency services coordination.
Brian Haight, state Department of Transportation project manager, said last Thursday there was a meeting between area police and fire, PennDOT, the county and the construction company to hammer out details about standard response plans.
Haight said people need not worry because the 911 call center has numbers for the construction company in case something would need to be moved in an emergency.
Haight also said PennDOT would be meeting with area municipalities later in the year to consider how the construction project should be plowed.
One unidentified member of the Trout Run Fire Police asked if they would be able to have access to the construction signs that direct traffic if they need it.
Rodney Wood, project engineer from Trumbull Corporation, said he could pre-program messages into the sign and teach the fire police how to change them, so they could use it, if necessary.
Haight also spoke to the crowd about how the project is environmentally friendly. He explained there are 46 small sediment ponds throughout the project and seven large permanent ones, that allow rain water to discharge sediment and slowly seep out of the drainage ponds.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed in June of 2011 but the contractor was able to revamp the schedule and is confident it can be completed by September of 2010.
Donna Clark, who lives in Trout Run said she came to the information session to learn more about the project. "We wanted to make sure what was going on as far as traffic control because I drive to Williamsport everyday," Clark said.
She said she felt the session was "very informational."