Reconstruction work causes concerns

HUGHESVILLE — The reconstruction of a major intersection that’s underway in Hughesville will take several years. This construction season involves moving a street nearly 100 feet, causing several concerns, according to a Hughesville Borough official.

The reconstruction of the routes 405 and 220 intersection at the north end of Hughesville Borough began last year, said T Jay Cunningham, PennDOT assistant district executive.

“We were able to demolish the buildings that needed to be removed, but a lot of this year will be just basically prepping for the major project,” he said. “Race Street will be relocated this year and most other things will be utility work and prep for next year.”

“Next year will be the bulk of the project,” he added.

Race street’s alignment with Route 220 — to create a four-way intersection — creates several concerns within the Hughesville Borough, according to Walt Reed, chairman of the borough council.

“The way PennDOT is doing it, it’s going to invite that down into (Race Street) and create more traffic in that side of town. I think that’s one of the problems I have and I think a lot of people have,” he said.

With Race Street being across the intersection for travelers from Route 180 and motorists from Picture Rocks only having to take a left turn, Reed said he believes the highly residential area beyond Race Street will see higher traffic.

Although the intersection seems to widen Race Street to some degree, said Reed, as drivers continue onward, the street narrows down.

Additionally, with the low amount of current traffic, many residents have gotten used to walking along Race Street.

“If it gets two way traffic and it gets busy, it’s going to be a bit of a hazard area,” he said.

Hughesville Borough Council Members voiced their concerns as planning started, “but this is what they ended up with,” said Reed.

“We’ll see where things go,” he said.

The borough lost a business and several homes in the Race Street relocation, “That all hurts when you start to talk about real estate taxes,” said Reed.

Traffic will be maintained via phased construction activities and with detours on local roads.

This project — expected to cost $2.9 million, — will have to coordinate in 2021 with the Glade Run Bridge and North Main Street intersection reconstruction project on the same road in Muncy Borough, according to Bo Mahaney, project manager with Dewberry Engineering.