A major road project in Cambria County moved to the next phase on Monday, leading to the partial reopening of a new roundabout.
PennDOT announced that their prime contractor, Swank Construction Company, began “stage three” of the Geistown Corridor Improvement Project.
The project will realign Scalp Avenue and Bedford Street to intersect with Belmont Street into a single-lane roundabout in Geistown Borough.
“The biggest part of today is that there will be traffic traveling throughout the roundabout. We want people to use caution, take your time to learn the navigation, and slow down,” says Tara Callahan-Henry, PennDOT District 9 Press Officer.
Stage three will be completed in two parts.
During the first part that began Monday, traffic on Scalp Avenue and Belmont Street started using their designated leg to travel through the roundabout.
For nearby businesses like Young American Furniture owners say the pros of the project outweigh the cons of construction.
“I think in the long run, it is going to be a good thing.”
That’s what the furniture store’s owner, Bill Colvin, said about the project that he says hasn’t really affected his customers.
“The main issue was getting tractor trailer trucks in and out of our facility here,” he told 6 News.
Other Route 756 traffic will be detoured using Route 3012 (Luray Avenue) and Route 3016 (Scalp Avenue), which will be in place for 14 days.
The second part of stage three will tentatively begin on Monday, September 27.
“The entire project is not completed until next construction season. For this construction season, people can expect to fully travel throughout the roundabout sometime mid to end November,” Callahan-Henry said.
PennDOT officials say the $7.8 million project will help to promote safety in the region.
They say when comparing a roundabout to a signal, studies show that roundabouts provide a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes, 75 percent reduction in injury crashes, and 30-40 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes.
“When people are traveling through a roundabout, they’re generally traveling at a lower rate of speed. Therefore, traffic isn’t going as fast, and there are less likelihoods of accidents in a roundabout situation.”