The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 6, 2013

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: White Deer Pike, just west of Watsontown

WATSONTOWN — A portion of the White Deer Pike, south of Allenwood in Union County, willl be closed on Monday as work around the White Deer Railroad Bridge continues.

Final paving is set for the area on Monday, interrupting vehicular traffic between Old Route 15 and Watsontown.

According to Jeff Stover, executive director for the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, the detour will be in effect until about 7 p.m. Monday. 

In order to control traffic, signs have been placed on the east side of the Susquehanna River in Watsontown and at approaches to the intersection of Harberson and Leiser roads.

The latter location will facilitate control of local traffic that may originate off Old Route 15 via Harberson Road, or near the car wash in White Deer. The signage will prohibit vehicles longer than 22-feet. Any vehicles longer than 22 feet must use the signed detour via Routes 15, 44 and 405.

The Union County Sheriff’s Department is stationed at Watsontown and the Harberson/Leiser roads intersection, and officers will issue traffic citations to offenders.

The sheriff’s department has received approval from the Watsontown Borough Police Department to set up in the borough to prohibit trucks from heading west on the White Deer Pike over the river bridge.

Completion of the railroad bridge project is expected by late September, necessitating two additional brief closures of the highway, during daylight hours only. The next will be for overhead work on the bridge, and is tentatively scheduled Sept. 4 and 6. The second is for final paving of the portion of White Deer Pike that was impacted by the project. That is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 10.  

Reconstruction of the railroad bridge began in May and the traffic detour was to be in place until the project was completed. However, a re-prioritization of the construction schedule was worked out in discussions involving the JRA and PennDOT, allowing the detour to be lifted one month ahead of schedule.  

Reconstruction of the railroad bridge will result in rail service to Great Stream Commons Business Park in Allenwood which, say local officials, will make the park more attractive to prospective tenants.

The Joint Rail Authority is overseeing the nearly $1 million project.

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