WARREN (Erie News Now) – Market Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Warren usually has people lined up at the stoplights. According to PennDOT, more than 12,000 cars, trucks, and buses pass through every day.
“It was noted as an intersection that could stand to be improved back in 2014,” said Brian McNulty, PennDOT District Executive.
That’s why eight years ago, PennDOT began drawing up plans for a Market St. roundabout encompassing both Pennsylvania Ave and Water St.
But now, community members and several members of city council say they’re not on board.
“I find it disgraceful for our town to waste that much money,” said one community member.
“I’ve sat down there at that corner for two and three hours at a time, watching the traffic. I’ve never seen any more than six cars at one of the traffic lights,” another said at the meeting.
Despite the backlash now, the City of Warren actually commissioned PennDOT for a roundabout at the intersection in 2015. So many years into the process, PennDOT says it’s too late to back out now.
The Market St. project is 80% federally funded and 20% state funded. Already $1.5 million have gone into design and engineering costs.
Some are interested in potentially paying the state and federal government back to keep the intersection the way it is. Nonetheless, PennDOT says that’s not an option. “We are 100% moving forward with this, and we are not entertaining the potential for payback at this point,” said McNulty.
The project is overall slated to cost $3.67 million. Construction is supposed to begin in May of 2022 and wrap up in October.
Right now, only the PA Secretary of Transportation could overrule PennDOT’s decision to keep the project moving forward.