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PennDOT highlights elk country improvements, other projectsPennDOT highlights elk country improvements, other projects

The elk herd at Benezette is a tourist draw, but poor conditions on Winslow Hill road has made it difficult in the past. PennDOT announced a $2.8 million project there in the coming year. //File photo

BENEZETTE, PA — A $2.8 million project on Winslow Hill in Elk County was highlighted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation among projects for this year.
Department officials were joined by staff from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to also help celebrate the coming start of the Winslow Hill Road safety and elk viewing improvement project.
“The beauty and charm of Pennsylvania cannot be overstated. Helping visitors travel safely to these areas means investing money in the upkeep, repair, and replacement of roads and bridges”, said Gov. Tom Wolf. “It’s exciting to see the impact these projects will have as they help communities in the north central region keep thriving.”
While discussing work continuing or beginning this year, officials highlighted the importance of a 5.6-mile paving project to start this spring on Winslow Hill Road (T-520) in Benezette. The project will include roadway widening/reconstruction, improvements of roadway shoulders to enhance pedestrian movements, emergency vehicle accommodation, drainage and guide rail. The $2.8 million project is funded by the state Multimodal Transportation fund.
“This project on Winslow Hill will enhance safety for local residents as well as visitors,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Jennie Louwerse. “Overall, road and bridge work across the nine counties of District 2 will make daily travel safer and more convenient and keep goods and services moving into and out of the region. We’re happy to celebrate this progress today.”
Officials gave some overall highlights of projects in the PennDOT Engineering District 2 region – which includes Cameron, Elk, McKean, Potter, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Juniata and Mifflin counties.
More than 210 miles of paving and repair or replacement of 53 bridges are planned.
These improvements include projects supported and accelerated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). In 2022 alone, the BIL is bringing at least $22 million in additional funding to be allocated by the department and its local Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organization partners, including at least $8 million more from the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission.
“We cover a large, mostly rural region and the increased funding from the BIL provides much needed help as we continue to improve our roads and bridges,” said District 2 Executive Tom Zurat. “BIL funding will help us have a positive impact on more communities, as we address infrastructure needs.”
Notable projects that will continue this year include: Route 4013/A03; Bridge replacement over the Allegheny River in Allegany Township, Potter County; $928,000; and Route 144/A03; Bridge replacement over Ives Run in Abbott Township, Potter County, $998,000.
Notable projects that have begun or are beginning this year include:
• Route 4004/A03; bridge replacement over Driftwood Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek in Shippen Township, Cameron County, $1.6 million, including $1.4 from the BIL;
• Elm Street bridge; local bridge replacement project over east branch of Tunungwant Creek in City of Bradford, McKean County, $1.7 million;
• Route 219/537; highway restoration in the City of Bradford, Bradford Township, and Foster Township, McKean County; $6.5 million, including $1.3 million from the BIL; and
• Route 6/626; resurfacing project in Roulette Township, Potter County from McKean County line to Fishing Creek, $5.4 million.
As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers. When encountering a work zone, please drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers and avoid all distractions. In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and are to take turns merging into the open lane.