The American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Mid-Allegheny Section honored the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 10; the project design consultant, Gannett Fleming; and the project contractor, Francis J. Palo, on May 4 for their work on the Pennsylvania state Route 68 project in Clarion, Pennsylvania.
The $3.5 million “Clarion Curve” project received the 2016 Outstanding Highway Engineering Award in the Projects Greater than $2.5 Million category. The Gannett Fleming design team also included subconsultants Heberling Associates, the Markosky Engineering Group, and Monaloh Basin Engineers.
Route 68 is the main gateway between Interstate 80 and the town of Clarion, providing critical access to Clarion Hospital, Clarion University, and numerous businesses. The half-mile section of roadway had a horizontal curve with limited sight distance. The roadway also lacked turn lanes into adjacent businesses and residences, as well as adequate pedestrian paths.
The Gannett Fleming design team, in partnership with PennDOT District 10, developed project improvements that included flattening the curve, widening the roadway from two lanes to three, and providing an ADA-compliant sidewalk. A new two-way left turn lane improves access into residential and commercial driveways within the project limits. Other major enhancements include a new storm sewer system that will help to alleviate flooding concerns along Route 68. Overcoming the challenges of right-of-way acquisitions, utility relocations, and the need to maintain traffic during construction, the project team completed the roadway section in November 2016. These improvements helped to transform this section of Route 68 into a safer and more reliable roadway that improves mobility throughout the project corridor.
ASHE is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a safe, efficient, and sustainable highway system. Its Mid-Allegheny Section includes members from Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, Jefferson, and other surrounding western Pennsylvania counties. Projects nominated for the Outstanding Highway Engineering Award are judged on technical merit, innovation, complexity, and social/economic considerations.