The Daily Courier: SPC: Bridge project on schedule

If projections of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission are accurate, residents of the Connellsville area will begin the new year with the long awaited reopening of the McCray Robb Memorial Bridge along Crawford Avenue.

Representatives of the SPC met with area officials Tuesday to discuss present and upcoming projects.

Officials said the Crawford Avenue bridge is on schedule for completion by Dec. 29 of this year.

SPC representative Angela Baker said the work is moving well, and “hopefully, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony” to celebrate reopening of the span.

Baker said the bridge includes a bicycle lane and sidewalk, and public support has been good in the face of detours required by the bridge closing.

She said closing the span “was the only way to get constriction going with the detours with the help of the community.”

SPC representatives addressed both current and future transportation projects taking place in Fayette County, including the proposed connector for McClure Road, Kingview Road, and Mt. Pleasant near Route 119 in northern Fayette County.

The area will serve as a roundabout for safety purposes, with the exact date to begin construction not yet determined.

Dominic D’Andrea, director for the Office of Transportation Planning, said the Transportation Improvement Program addresses future investment in the region and specifically future transportation in Fayette County.

“Over $180 million has been earmarked for projects within Fayette County on the TIP,” D’Andrea said.

The projects are part of a four-year plan within a 25-year long range plan with updates made every two years. D’Andrea said the SPC meets on a monthly basis to address project bids that may be too high or too low that require “priorities to shift” on planned projects.

Another important area the SPC addressed was the Sheepskin Trail, and the various funding sources related to the trail project.

Public Involvement Director Ronda Craig said funding in many areas may only be spent for certain aspects of the project.

The Sheepskin Trail Project has been one of the priorities of the Fayette County Commissioners. Commissioner Scott Dunn said federal funds are available for title searches on properties, preliminary work, engineering work, and environmental issues.

The SPC develops the Long Range Transportation Plan and the Transportation Involvement Program, which plans for the region’s long term and short term, transportation and infrastructure programs, a van-pool service, and many other transportation planning initiatives.

The SPC goal is to provide accessibility and mobility in a safe, efficient, and effective manner for the region.

The SPC represents a 10-county region of western Pennsylvania, with Fayette County Commissioner Vince Vicites serving as vice chairman.

SPC Director Rich Fitzgerald said the commission was grateful for all the assistance and cooperation of PennDOT.

Among the projects discussed were the Layton Bridge, a bridge in West Newton, a bridge above Redstone Creek, and the Jefferson Avenue and Gallatin Avenue projects in the city of Uniontown.

Public input may always be given to the SPC through its website of

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