A new PennDOT regulation is delaying a traffic signal from being erected as planned at the intersection of Route 19 and Ehrman Road in Cranberry.
“It has really kind of been tough because it’s out of our hands,” said Jason Kratsas, Cranberry’s director of engineering. “We’ve really been trying to push things along.”
Kratsas said the state adopted the new policy regarding the construction and fabrication of signal poles, mast arms, and their foundations in mid-2012.
The traffic signal in Cranberry is one of the first to be tested under the new guidelines, Kratsas said.
The delays are being caused because the state and Union Metals, the signal manufacturer Cranberry is using for the project, are figuring out the inspection process for the signal, Kratsas said.
“What’s ended up happening is we’re just waiting for the state and the manufacturing company to come to an agreement on how they’re going to test them,” he said.
Cranberry ordered the traffic signal equipment for the intersection last September with plans to install it by January. In February, the township learned design testing under the new regulations would delay the project.
Kratsas said he is hopeful PennDOT will green light the manufacturing of the poles within the next few days. The township then will begin construction on the signal as soon as possible.
“We’ve been out there every day talking to the manufacturer and PennDOT in Harrisburg, trying to get a status and push this along,” Kratsas said. “We’re getting there.”
Cranberry is working with Sheetz, which is building a new convenience store and gas station at the intersection of Ehrman Road and Route 19, on the project.
The hillside where the Sheetz will be located already has been graded so that the gas station will be at street level with Ehrman Road.
Kratsas has said developers would contribute about $600,000 for the traffic signal and road project, which will be managed by the township. Cranberry will fund about $300,000 for the construction, which also includes new turning lanes and updates to the storm water sewer system.
Kratsas noted Sheetz has a building permit to begin construction on the site.
“We think they can start any time now,” he said.
Ehrman Road also has been expanded to three lanes, although the third lane won’t open until the new traffic signal is in operation.
For safety reasons, Ehrman Road will remain limited to one lane as it approaches Route 19 in order to maintain adequate sight lines.
Until the new signal is erected, Kratsas asked motorists to refrain from moving around the traffic control devices on Ehrman Road.
Kratsas said drivers have been moving around the cones in the construction zone in an attempt to open up two lanes of traffic on the road.
“We’re asking folks to be patient,” he said. “Leaving that traffic zone in a one-lane approach is very important.”
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