When the South West Communities Chamber of Commerce’s Community Outlook 2020 finally took place, one particular topic was bound to arise.
“Of course, the big water-cooler conversation that we have around the South Hills,” moderator Joe Verduci said, “is traffic. Traffic and construction.”
It turned out the panelists in the annual event, which was postponed from the spring because of COVID-19, had a lot to say on the subject, from improvements on some major thoroughfares to what will be a novelty of sorts to serve a heavily traveled local intersection.
During a program that was presented virtually Aug. 18, managers of many of the chamber’s member municipalities provided updates and answered questions posed by Verduci, a member of Bridgeville Borough Council and vice president of relationship banking at Brentwood Bank, the business that sponsored the event.
Among the traffic-related projects is the reconfiguration of McLaughlin Run Road’s intersection with Lesnett and McMillan roads in Upper St. Clair Township, where utility relocation has begun.
“The conventional signal will be removed and a roundabout will be installed,” township manager Matt Serakowski said about the state Department of Transportation’s plans. “This project will continue in a six-, possibly seven-phase approach. There will be no road closures.”
Also in Upper St. Clair, PennDOT is making improvements to Route 19 north of the McLaughlin Run-McMurray Road intersection, concluding a project that started last year south of the Peters Township line. And motorists in Upper St. Clair will continue to notice decorative mast arms for traffic signals in the continuation of a project that started in 2016.
The completion of a trail around the perimeter of the nearly 500-acre Boyce Mayview Park is nearing.
“We have one phase left that will include a partial realignment of Morton Road,” Serakowski said, “and that is to come in 2021.”
John Barrett, South Fayette manager, reported the township has secured state Multimodal Transportation Fund for signals at two local intersections. Work at Route 50 and Alpine Road is in progress and expected to be completed by the end of the year, and the other site is at Washington Pike and Boyce Road.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s Southern Beltway project, part of which passes through South Fayette, continues to make progress.
“They were down for a little when COVID hit us and construction was delayed,” Barrett said, but the future toll road connecting Route 22 in Robinson Township, Washington County, with Interstate 79 in Cecil Township seems to be on track for its scheduled full opening in 2022.
In the short term, beltway-related lane restrictions will continue on Route 50 in South Fayette between Millers Run and Cecil-Henderson roads. The work is expected to be completed Sept. 4, weather permitting, according to the Turnpike Commission.
A neighboring municipality is spearheading a long-sought remedy to an overabundance of vehicles north of Route 50’s intersection with Washington Pike.
“The big project for traffic in Bridgeville is our southern gateway, the replacement of the current bridge for a seven-lane bridge,” borough manager Joe Kauer said, with an added component of improving the flow at nearby Chartiers Street. “I would anticipate that work to be early next year.”
Kyle Thauvette, township manager in Collier, spoke about working toward further solutions to help alleviate gridlock.
“We do have a new task force between Bridgeville and Collier that’s looking at the traffic issues and some signalization work that can be done along Route 50,” he said.
At the northern end of the township, he reported, a project to widen Campbell’s Run Road near an Interstate 376 interchange is expected to start in the spring.
For more information about the South West Communities Chamber of Commerce, visit southwestcommunitieschamber.org.