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PennDOT highlights work zone safety as Route 19 Improvement Project begins in Pittsburgh

May 03, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Steve Cowan

As part of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, PennDOT's Pittsburgh-area District 11 held a press event to discuss safe driving through construction zones and to provide information on a $14.55 million improvement project on Route 19 in the City of Pittsburgh.

District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni and Assistant District Executive for Construction Jason Zang were joined by Pittsburgh Police officials, PennDOT personnel, and Swank Construction Co. to highlight the importance of the project while focusing on keeping workers and drivers safe in work zones.

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"The construction season has begun, and as crews work to create a safer road for the public, they too must be kept safe," Moon-Sirianni said. "As a result of the busy location of the Route 19 project, crew members constantly see aggressive drivers, especially speeding motorists."

In District 11 — which covers Allegheny, Beaver, and Lawrence counties — more than 1,300 work zone crashes occurred from 2013-2017. Unfortunately, 12 individuals died in those crashes. The majority of those crashes (86%) occurred in clear, dry weather.

"Practicing work zone safety is very important to the men and women who work on these roads daily, as well as their families," Moon-Sirianni said. "Please drive these roads like your loved ones are working on them."

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Roadway reconstruction will occur on approximately 1 mile of Route 19 between I-376 (Parkway West) and the West End interchange. Additional improvements include the replacement of the Shaler Street Bridge over Route 19/51 using Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques, median barrier replacement, lengthening of the Wabash Street deceleration ramp, sign structure replacements, and ramp reconstruction work.

The 140-foot long Shaler Street Bridge, consisting of two spans, will be replaced by using a Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT). The new bridge will be constructed near the current structure site and the SPMT will move the two, 260-ton spans into place over the course of a weekend.

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