Public weighs in on newly proposed Rt.98 detour as part of PennDOT roundabout project in Vernon Township
New info included a proposed construction period, and a detour on Rt.98.
Monday's meeting between PennDOT officials and people from around the area grew tense at times.
The Department of Transportation wanted the public's input on a proposed detour on Route 98 in Vernon Township as part of the DOT’s future roundabout project.
And the public was not afraid to speak up.
The DOT maintains the roundabout is necessary for safety reasons, specifically, speeding.
"The roundabout forces every driver to slow down every time they go through the intersection.” Project Manager, Mark Nicholson said “So the roundabout really is the answer to slow down the speeding through the corridor."
And the detour would be placed on Route 98-North as a way to allow construction crews to safely and quickly work on part of the project.
The current plan has a detour route difference of nearly seven miles.
And not everyone is buying the strategy.
Conneaut Lake native, Joe Pyrdack, travels through the intersection at 98 almost every day. While he's waiting until the roundabout is complete to make judgments on its effectiveness, he's concerned the detour will force unsafe driving habits to spill over onto residential neighborhoods.
"Get a new thesaurus so when you [the media] report the stories, you can find synonyms for road rage, insanity, madness, temper flare-ups, assaults, and so forth." Pyrdack said
PennDOT tells us any work won't begin until at least Spring 2019 , while any sort of final construction bids are worked out. We're told the goal is to not impact any sort of special events, or school matters.
“We try to avoid putting travelers on local roads, or at least detouring them on that way.” Nicholson said “So our goal is to keep them on our network so we can take care and maintain the road system."
The detour would be in place for roughly seven to eight weeks. Right now, there is no exact timetable for how long the whole project could take to finish.
*The possible detour will be in place for a portion of the construction project. It will use Harmonsburg Road (SR 3016), Route 102, and Route 6. -PennDOT