Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Traffic changes for SR 309 rock cut project in Mt. Top

April 24. 2014 12:02AM

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Views of traffic on the state Route 309 rock cut project to and from Mountain Top will soon be available on

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Lane restrictions will be in place Friday as part of the rock cut project on a busy thoroughfare to and from Mountain Top.

Motorists will use the southbound lanes to travel up and down the state Route 309, James May, a regional spokesman for PennDOT, said Wednesday.

Barriers were being set into place to separate southbound and northbound traffic, he said Wednesday. Paving will be done today in preparation for the switch to single lane traffic and the closure of the northbound lanes.

“By Friday is when we’re looking at having the crossover in place,” May said.

An estimated 18,000 vehicles — 9,000 in each direction — use the winding road cut through the mountainside between Hanover and Fairview townships.

Motorists have already been restricted to single lanes as the more than $5 million project got underway. The plan is to blast away rock along the northbound lanes. Widening the rock cut should reduce the flow of water onto the roadway and expose it to more sunlight to melt ice in the problem areas.

The project should be completed by late fall.

“It hasn’t been horrible,” May said of the set up in preparation for the switch.

The speed limit has been reduced to 35 mph. In addition trucks over 10.5 tons will be limited to traveling down the mountain in the northbound lane between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. daily. Trucks over that weight limit are already restricted from the southbound lane.

An added feature will be the installation of two portable cameras at opposite ends of the project to provide views of traffic conditions, May said. They can be accessed online at

May said crews will be drilling in the rock in preparation for the blasting expected to begin in a few weeks.

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