The design team, PennDOT and CDM Smith held an public forum to discuss questions or concerns with the upcoming State Route 199 project with community members on Thursday, receiving significant feedback from impacted residents.
The reconstruction project, called SR 199-010, is set to begin around June 2020 and includes full roadway reconstruction from Athens to the New York border, primarily dealing with Spring Street, Mohawk Street, North and South Keystone Ave. and N. Main Street.
The reconstruction project is aiming to to full depth pavement reconstruction, drainage upgrades, utility relocations, sidewalk and curb improvements ADA curb ramp installations, traffic sign upgrades, driveway adjustments and minor access improvements.
Residents who attended the open session with the PennDOT project team, however, were cautious and frustrated with the project.
Many community members were concerned about parking. When construction begins on roads, residents on those roads are concerned with where they will be able to park and get to their homes.
Virginia Feigles-Kaar, PennDOT project manager, reassured the residents that parking would be available either on side streets or on the other side of the road.
Residents stated there was the issue with permit parking located in the Sayre Borough area and what PennDOT may have considered available parking, might not be available to those residents.
Feigles-Kaar stated that the Sayre Borough Council told PennDOT that they would allow residents affected by the construction to park elsewhere without a permit.
Another resident was concerned about the detour route located near Guthrie and Sayre Area High School. The resident suggested that Brock Street be changed to a two-lane road during the reconstruction project for the safety of students and to avoid some heavy traffic.
Feigles-Kaar stated the residents should speak to the Sayre Borough Council with the detour suggestion.
Most affected by this reconstruction project are local businesses located on North and South Keystone Avenue.
A number of businesses are losing a majority of their available parking due to the widening of the road and reconstruction.
One of those local businesses is Original Italian Pizza (OIP).
OIP will be losing its side parking and the parking out front of the building, according to the project specs/prints.
OIP owner John Amato asked if PennDOT was willing to compromise with him on parking. Feigles-Kaar and the PennDOT project team stated there was nothing they could do.