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PennDOT: $32.6 Million Project to Improve Route 8 in Venango County

Thursday, March 5, 2020 @ 08:03 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

image (4)VENANGO CO., Pa. – The Wolf Administration today announced a two-year project that will give motorists a smoother ride on nearly 12 miles of Route 8 by reconstructing the interstate lookalike in Sandycreek, Irwin, and Victory townships, Venango County.

The $32.6 million project will also include preservation work on seven bridges along the roadway between Melvin Road (Route 3004) in Irwin Township to Polk Cutoff Road (Route 3024) in Sandycreek Township.

“Route 8 serves as a gateway to Pennsylvania’s Oil Region National Heritage Area and a connection between Venango County and the interstate system, supporting for commerce, leisure, and business travel,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Investing into the reconstruction of this roadway will help preserve the economy and quality of life for residents and visitors to the region for years to come.”

Work will include concrete patching and paving from Melvin Road to Georgetown Road (Route 3003), milling and paving from Georgetown Road to the Dennison Run Road Overpass, and breaking the existing concrete to create a base for a new asphalt overlay from Dennison Run Road Overpass to Polk Cutoff Road, as well as repairs to Old Route 8 (Route 3013). Work will also include rehabilitation work to seven structures, drainage repairs, guiderail replacement and signing replacements.

The project was developed following a 2018 PennDOT study of the corridor that examined various aspects of the roadway, including existing and future traffic operations, safety, corridor deficiencies, roadway and bridge conditions, support of planning initiatives, and support of the regional economy. PennDOT received a high level of community feedback during this process, which aided in determining the scope of work.

“Through the study process, PennDOT and our planning partner, the Northwest Rural Planning Organization, gathered hundreds of public comments, many emphasizing the importance of Route 8 to daily living in Venango and surrounding counties,” said PennDOT District 1 Executive Jim Foringer, P.E. “This project is a reflection of that feedback and our commitment to support the communities we serve.”

Construction along Route 8 will be completed in phases, which will require detours.

Phase 1 – Work will start March 16, 2020, weather permitting, with repairs to Old Route 8 in preparation for the detour of southbound traffic from Route 8. This will include slide correction and base repairs to Old Route 8. During this phase, all through traffic on Old Route 8 will be detoured to Route 8 and Route 308. Old Route 8 is expected to be fully reopened by March 28, weather permitting.

Phase 2 – Work is expected to begin on the northbound lanes of Route 8 on March 28, 2020, weather permitting. This phase will include reconstructing and rehabilitating the northbound lanes and bridges. Northbound traffic will be detoured to the southbound lanes. All southbound traffic will be detoured to Old Route 8 from the intersection of Route 8 and Polk Cutoff Road to the intersection of Route 8 and Old Route 8. The detour is expected to be in place until October 7, 2020.

Phase 3 – Work during the 2021 construction season will be focused on the southbound lanes, including reconstructing the roadway and rehabilitating bridges. Southbound traffic on Route 8 will be detoured to Old Route 8 from the intersection of Route 8 and Polk Cutoff Road to the intersection of Route 8 and Old Route 8. Northbound traffic will be not be affected. This phase is expected to take approximately six months to complete.

Phase 4 – In the final phase of the project, all northbound and southbound traffic will be detoured from Route 8 at the southern portion of the work area. Rehabilitation work will be done to the bridge over Georgetown Road, including roadway approaches, deck surfacing and barrier repairs. The proposed detour route, which is 1.7 miles long, will use Old Route 8 and Georgetown Road. It is expected to be in place for two weeks.

During the winter months in between phases 2 and phase 3, traffic on Route 8 will return to its normal pattern.

The contractor is Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc, of State College, PA. The contract cost is $32,645,000, which will be paid with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds.

This project was made possible by Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation funding plan.

Information on the project, including the 2018 presentation, is available online at by clicking on the Construction Projects/Roadway link under the Resources heading, picking the Venango County box then choosing the Route 8 Reconstruction Project tile.

PennDOT urges motorists to slow down when driving in work zones, and also to be alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and to pay attention to signs and flaggers. Drive responsibly in work zones for your safety and the safety of the workers.

For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 950 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Subscribe to PennDOT news in Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties at

Follow PennDOT’s northwest region on Twitter at or Facebook at

Copyright © 2022 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.


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