By CHERYL SCHWEIZER
For The Sun Tribune
EPHRATA — Road upgrades and road safety improvements are scheduled throughout the county during the summer. County commissioners approved $6,611,700 to pay for road improvement projects recently.
Safety projects include the addition of centerline and road shoulder rumble strips throughout the county; $920,000 is the total project cost. County crews will be installing additional warning signs at curves, and more of the small signs actually on the curve. Total cost for the sign project is $605,000.
The first phase of a major project is scheduled on East Wheeler Road (Road Northeast 3) between Road O Northeast and Road Q Northeast. The first phase is 1.88 miles. Public works director Jeff Tincher said that section of East Wheeler will be widened, with the base layer upgraded and the road repaved. That section of East Wheeler will be closed to through traffic during construction, which is scheduled for September. Total project cost is $1,150,000.
Road 4 Northeast also is scheduled for a major project between Hiawatha Road and Westshore Drive. It’s longer, at 4.42 miles, and a little more expensive, at $1,326,000. The existing surface will be removed and the road will be repaved. Work is projected to begin in June and last about two months, with the road closed to through traffic and detours in place.
About nine miles of Road 5 Northwest will be getting new pavement, with two projects being combined. The first project is a 3.16-mile repaving project from SR-281 to Road T Northwest. Cost is $855,000. The second is 5.68 miles from Road T Northwest, through the intersection of Road 5 Northwest and Road U Northwest to SR-28. Cost of that section, a “hot mix asphalt overlay,” is $30,000.
A 3.08-mile section of Lower Crab Creek Road is scheduled for paving; Tincher said it’s gravel currently. The cost will be $550,000. About one mile of Baseline.5 Southeast, from Road N Southeast to Road O Southeast, also is scheduled for paving, at a cost of $250,000.
One project that had been scheduled for 2019 will be delayed. Cochran Road and a section of Ottmar Road were scheduled for repaving, along with curbs, gutters and sidewalks. But county officials are still working on some right-of-way issues, Tincher said.