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Johnstown area road project to start this month; trees to be removed

By: WJAC Web Staff

WESTMONT, Pa. -- A road improvement project that caused concern and anger over the removal of trees from a Cambria County community will begin this month, officials said.

PennDOT District 9 officials said Tuesday that beginning March 10, work will begin on the Goucher Street improvement project in Westmont and Lower and Upper Yoder townships, all just outside of Johnstown.

Officials said drainage work will begin first, and will be followed in later months with curb and sidewalk improvements and traffic control device upgrades at intersections with Menoher Boulevard and Plaza Drive. The project includes a new traffic signal at Goucher Street and Willett Drive and, in total, includes 1.1 miles of Goucher Street between Dundee Lane and Westgate Drive.

Work will also include the removal of trees from certain areas, PennDOT said. Specifics were not available about the number of trees that would be affected.

Last year, residents in Westmont and surrounding communities formed a group and raised concerns about the plans to remove trees from along Goucher Street, siting it would adversely affect the community, which has a tree city designation.

PennDOT officials maintained the roadway upgrades were needed for safer travel.

For the road work beginning in the next week, construction will take place during daylight and nighttime hours, with traffic being controlled by flaggers, PennDOT said. All work is weather-dependent.

All work will be completed by October and is expected to cost $3.9 million, PennDOT said.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times