I-99 work continues between Bald Eagle and Port Matilda

The new construction of I-99 consists of about 3/4 mile of new limited access highway with a new diamond interchange where it adjoins with the northern end of existing I-99 at Bald Eagle, north of Tyrone.
PennDOT Project Engineer David Kipp said ground was broken in December of 2004 for the $33,891,761 project with a probable completion set for early December of 2006. The job contractor is A & L of Belle Vernon.
According to Kipp, the project includes the construction of 14 new bridges within the corridor of new I-99 between Bald Eagle and Port Matilda.
\”Some rehabilitation and repair of existing bridges and roadway of the old Route 220 approach roadway into the new project will also be included,\” said Kipp.
New roadway fill between existing I-99 is in place and presently is being fine graded and prepared for paving operations to take place this fall or early next spring. The bridges (twin northbound and southbound) over SR 350 have beams set, deck pans in place, and workers are currently placing deck reinforcement steel in preparation for a deck pour in early July.
The twin bridges over what will be the new northbound ramp access have the substructure of one of the bridges complete and piling is going in at the second. The twin bridges over SR 220 just south of Port Matilda have substructures completed and are ready for beam setting in July. The twin bridges which will carry the new I-99 over the railroad tracks have substructures nearing completion and an anticipated beam setting set for late July.
Preparatory environmental access pads are in place at another set of bridges and bridge work to start any day now. Kipp said Blue Springs Hollow is further into the interior of the project between Port Matilda and Bald Eagle and two more sets of bridges are not yet begun.
\”For the remainder of the summer and fall construction season, we anticipate three sets of bridges will have decks poured and all seven sets will optimistically have beams set before the end of the year,\” said Kipp. He added, \”This means well over 100 beams will be set before the end of the year.\”
The only beam set remaining that would significantly impact traffic will be the northernmost set over 220 scheduled for July.
Kipp said as construction continues on the project, workmen are very environmentally sensitive of the land. In some areas construction platforms consisting of a geo fabric was placed on the existing ground with rock and gravel on top to create a working platform that will not damage the existing vegetation root mat. Also, an experimental High Performance Concrete will be used on 10 bridge decks.
Presently, there are between 50 and 100 laborers, carpenters and operators working on the project as well as a Consulting Inspection staff, PennDOT Project Engineer and a Consultant Management Staff.