By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG — Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation met with more than 150 residents Wednesday night at the Mifflinburg Middle School to explain how the long-awaited Chestnut Street reconstruction project would affect traffic in the borough.
Chestnut Street is a section of Route 45 and is the main business street in the borough.
The project includes road reconstruction, new utility installation and curb and sidewalk construction, explained Steve Muchler, an assistant traffic engineer with PennDOT.
Many of the area residents in the audience wondered how they would get around town during construction and were concerned about truck traffic in their neighborhoods. Others were worried about their businesses.
A librarian worried that detoured traffic could pose a danger to young children in the area.
“So please don’t take down all our stop signs,” she said.
Kelly Heimbach said his business requires 53-foot-long trucks to arrive at his place of work.
“How are they going to navigate the detours you’ve laid out?” he asked.
Muchler pointed out three main detour routes. For westbound trucks, he said, there was a Route 45 detour down Dreisbach Church Road to Furnace Road, then Brouse Road, Ridge Road and Route 104. Eastbound trucks would be diverted to Route 304 to Route 3004 and finally Route 104.
Cars will be diverted to Market Street from Mable Street to Route 104, he said.
“Our goal from the beginning,” Muchler said, “was to make the least incursion on your lives. And that’s why we’re doing this in phases.”
Muchler explained that the nine-month project along Chestnut Street would proceed in sections so as to avoid as much inconvenience as possible.
Here are the tentative dates, weather permitting:
- The Forest Hill Road, Route 45 intersection will be worked on from March 25-April 7. Detours will begin in the next phase.
- Eighth Street to Fifth Street, April 8-June 12. During this phase, truck and passenger cars will be detoured off Chestnut.
- Fifth Street to Third Street, June 13-July 30. Detours will remain in effect
- Third Street to Forest Hill Road, July 31-Oct. 17. Detours in effect
- The final stage is work on Route 104 to Forest Hill Road, Oct. 18-Nov. 21. No detours in effect. This stage will include making pavement markings and planting trees, Muchler said.