Construction is beginning at a busy intersection in Cambria County, where millions of dollars are being spent to improve the flow of traffic.
PennDot is spending $7.8 million to turn the intersection at the Geistown Cloverleaf into a roundabout to help with traffic.
Talk of the Geistown Corridor Improvement project first began in 2014 when PennDot officials were brainstorming ways to make the intersection at the Geistown Cloverleaf more accessible for drivers. Nearly seven years later, road work is underway.
“It’s a big undertaking since they will be like I said moving roads completely out and building a completely new section,” said Penndot District 9 safety press officer, Monica Jones.
The plan is to turn the cloverleaf interchange into a roundabout at the intersection of Scalp Avenue and Belmont Street. The project is expected to take two years and affect almost two miles of roadway- which in turn will affect businesses in the area.
“My concern being we just weathered covid and our business took a hit. I know we’ve had projects in the past. It deterred them from coming here. It deterred them for being late for their appointments and when you have clients on top of clients that can be a problem,” said owner of Shades Salon and Spa, Marcia Metzgar.
Metzgar is not only concerned about the road work slowing down her business, but she doesn’t see the need for the improvements.
“I guess my concern is, are customers not going to want to come here because they have to drive through all of that construction to get here,” said Metzgar. “And I don’t understand what it is going to help. It seems to me the construction is just going to replace the directions it is already going,” she said.
PennDot officials say the end result will offer several benefits.
“We have learned in other parts of the state that this type of intersection roundabout, circle if you will. It creates less traffic, less back up, it’s a better flow for traffic and it all has proven to be safer with fewer accidents,” said Jones.
PennDot officials say the project is expected to be completed in November 2022. To learn more about the project and how traffic will be affected through construction, visit PennDot’s website.