'Stacking lane' plan backed by Allegheny supervisors
By George Guido
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012, 11:14 p.m.
Supervisors will unite behind an effort to get PennDOT to build a stacking lane on Route 356 along the hill starting from the township side of the Freeport Bridge.
Officials are concerned about traffic merging from two lanes to one, then slowing behind large trucks. Sometimes, the backup blocks the entrance to the River Forest Country Club and the adjoining neighborhood.
"There are two lanes that merge at the start of a steep hill at the Freeport Bridge, and it causes major congestion when heavy trucks try to get up the hill," Supervisor Ren Steele said at a supervisors meeting on Monday night.
County officials and representatives of the We Dig program, which focuses on local development, suggested PennDOT might be more amenable to the stacking lane if economic development takes place at the top of the hill, around an area at the corner of Route 356 and White Cloud Road.
"An industrial park that allows the area to keep its rural character and is relatively silent and pollution-free would be a good idea," Steele said.
Steele suggested an area used as a dump at one time by Allegheny Ludlum steel.
Officials were hoping that since the Freeport Bridge project came $10 million under budget, the state would have used the money for a stacking lane. Instead, the extra money reportedly was moved to another project in Westmoreland County.
That’s just one concern that township residents have regarding Route 356.
Some also favor redesigning the intersection at Route 356 and Labelle Vue Road, a T-shaped intersection near Kiski Area High School that backs up eastward toward Washington Township at rush hour.
An engineering study, however, would cost the township $150,000 and require the bridge over Pine Run to be expanded to four lanes.
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