State reveals Route 8 project details

From staff reports

The Wolf administration on Wednesday announced that a two-year, $32.6 million reconstruction of nearly 12 miles of Route 8 in Sandycreek, Irwin and Victory townships will begin March 16.

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation news release, the project will include preservation work on seven bridges along the roadway between Melvin Road (Route 3004) in Irwin Township to the Polk Cutoff (Route 3024) in Sandycreek Township.

According to PennDOT, work will include:

— Concrete patching and paving from Melvin Road to Georgetown Road (Route 3003).

— Milling and paving from Georgetown Road to Dennison Run Road Overpass.

— Breaking the existing concrete to create a base for a new asphalt overlay from Dennison Run Road Overpass to the Polk Cutoff.

— Repairs to Old Route 8 (Route 3013).

Work also will include rehabilitation to seven structures, drainage repairs, guiderail replacement and signing replacements.

“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,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in the release.

“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.”

The project, PennDOT said, was developed after 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.

“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,” PennDOT District 1 Executive Jim Foringer said in the release.

“This project is a reflection of that feedback and our commitment to support the communities we serve.”

The contractor is Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., of State College, PennDOT said. The contract cost will be paid with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds.

Project phases

Construction along Route 8 will be completed in four phases, which will require detours. During the winter months between phases 2 and 3, traffic on Route 8 will return to its normal pattern. Construction start dates are weather permitting:

Phase 1

Work will start March 16, with repairs to Old Route 8 in preparation for the detour of southbound traffic from Route 8. It includes slide correction and base repairs to Old Route 8. 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.

Phase 2

Work is expected to begin on the northbound lanes of Route 8 on March 28. It includes reconstruction and rehabilitation of the northbound lanes and bridges. Northbound traffic will be detoured to southbound lanes. Southbound traffic will be detoured to Old Route 8 from the intersection of Route 8 and the Polk Cutoff to the intersection of Route 8 and Old Route 8. The detour is expected to be in place until Oct. 7.

Phase 3

Work during the 2021 construction season will focus on the southbound lanes, including reconstruction of the roadway and rehabilitation of bridges. Southbound traffic on Route 8 will be detoured to Old Route 8 from the intersection of Route 8 and the Polk Cutoff to the intersection of Route 8 and Old Route 8. Northbound traffic will not be affected. Work is expected to take about six months.

Phase 4

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, will use Old Route 8 and Georgetown Road. It is expected to be in place for two weeks.

Project details

Information on the project, including the 2018 presentation, is available 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.