MANSFIELD — Mansfield borough residents had the opportunity to participate in a meeting with PennDOT regarding the “Main Street Highway Reconstruction Project” here Wednesday evening.
The four-year-long construction project is anticipated to begin spring 2024 and will reconstruct a half mile section of State Route 6 (Wellsboro Street), from the Tioga River Bridge to Swan Street and .8 mile section on State Route 2005 (Main Street) from E. Main Street to Decker Street, Nicki Jacobs, design team manager, said during the virtual meeting.
The pavement along Tioga County Route 6 and Route 2005 has reached the end of its service life and needs replacing, according to PennDOT’s website. The website also states Route 2005 will be milled and resurfaced from the Corey Creek bridge to Decker Street.
The proposed construction includes full depth pavement reconstruction, where the entire pavement structure is removed and replaced.
This typically involves excavation a few feet down to remove all the layers that make up that pavement structure, Jacobs said. The project includes areas that will be milled and overlay or resurfaced, which would shave off an inch and a half to two inches from the top of the roadway surface and replace it.
Other work includes drainage updates, the signal at State Route 6 and Main Street intersection, utility-related work and updates to signing and pavement markings, Jacobs said.
“There’s enough traffic making left turns at the intersection of Route 6 and Main Street to warrant dedicated left turn lanes in all four approaches,” Kyle Hostetter, highway engineer, said. Each left turn will have a “protected left turn phase,” where traffic turning left will have the green arrow that protects their turn against oncoming through traffic.
“We’ll also be implementing the use of a flashing yellow arrow signal head at this intersection. This is a four-signal section signal with only arrows,” he said. Lighting at this intersection will also be replaced.
Hostetter said that through an analysis, they found that widening Route 6 and converting the angled parking to parallel on Main Street maximizes the available parking within the central business district, while also providing the additional left turn lanes needed to improve traffic flow.
Pedestrian improvements at the existing signalized intersection of Route 6 and Academy Street are proposed, including converting the existing diagonal crosswalk on Route 6 to a standard crosswalk, Hostetter said.
Route 6 will be widened in areas where in-ground plantings currently exist between Railroad Street and St. James Street, Hostetter said, and they’ve designated areas on Main Street for new tree plantings.
The western portion of Route 6 at the bridge over the Tioga River will see full depth pavement reconstruction. Modifications to the bridge are not planned as part of this construction contract, Hostetter said.
The existing open front edge drive for the Sunoco gas station presents concerns for pedestrians and accessibility, he said. A “depressed curb” that would allow vehicular access, concrete sidewalk driveway and ADA curb ramp are proposed here.
East of Academy Street, full depth reconstruction is planned just past Swan Street. Three, 14-foot lanes are proposed here east of Academy Street, he said. Minor widening and superelevation improvements are proposed for the horizontal curve, just west of Academy Street, which are consistent with the existing condition, he said.
For the southern project limit on Main Street, the existing intersection with East Main Street and Dorset Drive will be maintained, he said, while making improvements to pedestrian accessibility for North South travel.
Moving north toward Route 6, the three lanes will taper slightly; the crosswalk and bus stop location on Main Street, just south of College Avenue, will be maintained. Past College Avenue there will be 12-foot lanes and parallel parking spaces. There is also a proposed southbound left turn lane on Main Street at College Avenue, he said.
The road will be widened between Center Street and Elmira Street, and the centerline for Main Street will also shift eastward slightly to realign this section with both roadway approaches, he explained.
The full depth pavement reconstruction ends at the Corey Creek culvert structure. From there to Decker Street, the roadway pavement will be milled and overlaid with some drainage and pedestrian curb ramp improvements.
Street parking was a major concern for many businesses along Main Street. The proposed project would remove 19 parking spaces.
During construction, Hostetter said access to businesses will always be maintained and they hope to minimize disruptions to parking and local street access. They also plan to have a “large truck detour” to keep the larger trucks out of downtown. They’ll use the U.S. Route 15 as much as possible, he said.
They intend to do construction on one half of the road at a time, in segments. In some segments, there are areas that are wide enough that during construction, a parallel lane will be available for on-street parking and deliveries, he said.
Several detours will be in place. For work from the Tioga River Bridge Besanceney Drive, the detour will use Route 6, Main Street and U.S. 15. For work from Besanceney Drive to Main Street, the detour will use Main Street, Dorset Drive and Besanceney Drive. For work from Main Street to Academy Street, the detour will use Cole Street or Academy Street, East Elmira Street and Main Street. For work from Academy Street to Swan Street, the detour will use Cole Street, East Elmira and Academy Street or Main Street.
From East Main Street to Route 6, the detour route will use Route 6, South Academy Street and First Street. For work from Route 6 to Elmira Street, the detour route will use East Elmira Street, North Academy Street or Cole Street and Route 6. For work from Elmira Street to Corey Creek, the detour route will use Decker Street and Extension Street and East Elmira Street.