PennDOT moving forward with Million Dollar Highway project

ST. MARYS - With the progression of PennDOT's Million Dollar Highway project, PennDOT has begun acquiring properties adjacent to a downtown St. Marys intersection slated to be widened. According to Marla Fannin, community relations coordinator with PennDOT District 2, the scope of the project is to "provide full-depth reconstruction of the roadway from Wal-Mart to the St. Marys Diamond," with the estimated cost being $11 million. Included in project plans is the widening of the SR 255/ SR 120 intersection. "SR 120 will be widened from Rock Street to South St. Marys Street (SR 255) with a right turn lane to be added at the intersection for vehicles turning south on SR 255," Fannin said. As part of this widening project, PennDOT has acquired buildings on or near the aforementioned intersection for demolition. While Fannin said she could not divulge details pertaining to what buildings had been acquired by PennDOT as they are still in the acquisition process, she did acknowledge that both full and partial acquisitions had been made in the area of the project site. Fannin offered an example of a partial acquisition as a "driveway adjustment."Angie Surra, general manager with St. Marys Insurance at 324 South St. Marys St., said that their building has been acquired and as a result, they are moving their operations to 301 Depot St. "PennDOT basically is tearing us down over here on South St. Marys Street. They acquired this building that we're in now, which we rent, and the old State Farm building past us on State Street-- we own that one, they're tearing that one down and possibly Sorg's old office building I think too," Surra said. Pick up a copy of the Thursday, March 1, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.