By Kelly Waters

TWI Reporter

On Wednesday evening at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, representatives from PennDOT District 4-0 Dunmore, held a public meeting regarding a project that includes widening the existing two-lane roadway on Route 6 and adding a center turning lane.

The project is approximately half a mile long and will go from Joe's Kwik Mart near SR 2009 (Brook Road), include the SR 652 intersection and extend to the bridge by the cemetery on Route 6 in Texas Township.

Along with putting a turning lane in, the project also includes concrete curbing to control ingress and egress, a storm water drainage system, driveway and side road adjustments, guide rail, signing and pavement markings.

Among those in attendance included Wayne County Commissioners Brian Smith and Jonathan Fritz; Field Representative for Sen. Lisa Baker's office, Bruce Mackle; and business and property owners.

"Any driveway changes for the businesses will be blacktop," said Charles "Chick" Nihen, project manager in design. "There's been a lot of delay because we are working with DEP to get the NPDES permit."

NPDES stands for national pollution discharge elimination system.

Nihen said they also have to satisfy an erosion control plan that includes drainage, ditches, etc. The right-of-way plan will also take some time. It is currently on hold and needs revisions.

"There's a lot of drainage work included, which will take up a lot of time," he said. "Our intent is to maintain two lanes during construction."

"It's our intent to always keep traffic flowing," said Ed Armusik, district plans engineer. "It's never our intent to shut anyone down, but there will be an impact. We can't close the road or send the traffic anywhere else, but we will do our best to phase it all in rounds so no one will be shut out."

When asked about night work, Armusik said he "doesn't believe" it will happen.

"We try to limit it to situations where something can't be done during the day," he stated.

The storm water drainage will be done on both sides of the road. The whole system will be replaced. There will also be catch basins further into properties. Armusik said that would be one of the "biggest parts" of the project.

"We've done extensive surveys of the area and we are using the best technology and most qualified individuals for the project," said Nihen. "When it's done, our intent is not to have any problems with drainage."

Mackle asked if this would be a project that is done straight through or if they will stop for periods at a time. Nihen said that the drainage will be "done first" and that they "won't tear up the road" during that time.

"We have a detailed construction plan schedule that will be given to the contractor," said Armusik. "We will hold him to it that the plan is followed."

He said that they will be looking at the "fastest and most effective" way to complete the project. He added that more information about the construction plan will be released when it is all planned out.

"There's no bridge component, which is a plus for us," said Armusik.

Nihen said there are "pre-qualified contractors" who work for PennDOT that will be eligible to bid on the project when it goes to bid. He added that sub-contractors may be brought in as well.

At the SR 652 intersection, Nihen said they will "widen the ramp" so traffic can get around when others are "at the stop sign."

"That is a heavily traveled section on the road and it's absolutely essential to the economic well-being in this area," said Fritz. "It's critically important that this gets done properly and with minimum disruption."

"It's always our intention to do a project with minimal trouble," said Armusik. "We try to do them in the fastest and most efficient way possible."

At this time there is "no long-term plan" to extend the project to the SR 6 and Long Ridge Road intersection, but Armusik said that the public should bring their "issues and needs" up with the planning board and elected officials.

"That will help bring them to the table, which can lead to other projects," he said.

Armsuik said this project will go "a long way" in helping with issues on Route 6.

At this time, the estimated letting date is early July of 2015 and the estimated notice to proceed is late August of 2015. The project is expected to take one and a half years to two years to complete.

The estimated construction cost for the project is $4,000,000.