New Castle News: State taking public comment on roads, bridges plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation opened the public period for the proposed 2025 statewide transportation improvement program.

The program consists of road and bridge projects statewide that support Gov. Josh Shapiro’s vision of a safe and reliable transportation network. The comment period will remain open until July 3, 2024.

Members of the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission and PennDOT officials presented the plan for local projects at a public meeting of local elected officials earlier this month.

The first on the list of local priorities are the resurfacing of East Washington Street from downtown New Castle and Route 65 in Shenango Township and the replacement of the East Washington Street bridge downtown. The $7.61-million East Washington/Route 65 repaving project already is underway and will continue throughout the summer.

The project is along East Washington Street (Route 65) between the Old Princeton Road intersection in Shenango Township to the South Croton Avenue intersection in the City of New Castle. It also includes work along South Croton Avenue (Route 108) between the Jefferson Street (Route 18) and East Washington Street intersections. Work along East Washington Street will include milling and paving, bridge preservation work to the structure over Route 422, utility and inlet adjustments, guide rail updates, wheelchair-accessible curb ramp installation, traffic signal upgrades, signs and pavement markings and other miscellaneous repair work. Work along South Croton Avenue (Route 108) consists of milling and resurfacing, roadway reconstruction from Mill Street up to and including the intersection with Route 65, inlet adjustments, utility work, sign and pavement marking installation, and other miscellaneous repair work. There will be single-lane restrictions throughout both project limits. Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the project, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.

Crews will begin paving Route 108 (South Croton Avenue) from Route 18 to Route 65 and on southbound Route 65 from Route 108 to Cascade Park. Once that work is completed, bridge work over Route 422 on Route 65 will commence and involve traffic signal upgrades, sign installation and miscellaneous construction work. The contractor will then finish paving Route 65 from Cascade Park south to the project limits near the Shenango McDonald’s, according to information from PennDOT’s press office in Pittsburgh.

The East Washington Street Bridge over the Neshannock Creek in the City of New Castle will undergo utility relocation work beginning this year. Full replacement of the 145-foot-long structure is expected to take two construction seasons. The project cost is $7.28 million and includes approach road work and minor signal work at the intersections of Route 65 and Route 108. If utility work extends into 2025, the project will conclude in 2027. Verizon needs to work with the contractor on coordinated work on its line that crosses the bridge, according to information from PennDOT. Once the Verizon work is completed the contractor can begin bridge replacement work. A date for the closure of the bridge has not been determined yet.

A delayed resurfacing project on Route 18/ 158 in Wilmington Township is expected to begin next year.

Work will include milling and paving the travel lanes and shoulders and drainage improvements of 3.23 miles of Route 158 in Wilmington Township and New Wilmington Borough, and bridge preservation work on two structures over McClure Run and a branch of the Little Neshannock Creek.

This project, expected to cost between $3.5 million and $4.5 million, is to be contracted in late February with the project starting in late May.

The Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) for Lawrence County involves a $12.7 million investment in roads, including the preservation of Route 19 and Wilmington Road, sections of Route 422 and Interstate 376. Additionally, $9.6 million is being spent on bridges. In addition to the East Washington Street Bridge, those that will get attention will be the River Road Culvert, Frew Mill Road Bridge, Jefferson Street Bridge and Paden Road Bridge over Hickory Run.

Additionally, sidewalks are to be improved in a Union Township neighborhood for pedestrian traffic.

The draft 2025 statewide TIP (STIP) consists of a list of prioritized projects and project phases identified for federal, state, local and private funding over four years for capital improvements, 23 regional TIPs, an independent Wayne County TIP and two statewide-managed programs — the Interstate Management Program and Statewide Initiatives TIPs.

“Infrastructure that serves everyone requires input from everyone,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “Planning for the future of transportation infrastructure is a complex process, and I encourage everyone to submit their comments and take part in this process.”

The draft, including an infographic providing an overview of the STIP process, can be viewed at Comments can be submitted online at, by emailing a fillable form to or by calling PennDOT to at (717) 783-2262.

The draft 2025 state TIP will be adopted as part of the 2025 TYP update by the STC during the commission’s August 14 business meeting. The 12-year plan is updated every two years.

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