The interchange, however, was never very good at accommodating the high-speed traffic it attracted. For 60 years, the fire department has responded to countless [and many times deadly] interstate vehicle accidents. Early on, for decades, there wasn't even a medial barrier between the four traffic lanes! Traffic volume, outdated acceleration and de-acceleration lanes and the lack of a full cloverleaf has confounded drivers, compromised safety and just fallen into disrepair. It has simply reached the end of it's life-span and no longer meets current interstate standards.
Hence, as part of a larger, total PA I-70 overhaul, the interchange has been completely re-engineered and moved 1/4 mile west. Longer on and off ramps now culminate in two 'round-abouts,' two new bridges are done and another is about 70% complete and several local streets have been widened, sidewalks and interchange lighting installed and two new signals will control traffic flow.
The bridge over Big Sewickley Creek closed March 20, 2017, cutting off nearly one-half of our response area. We are staffing a temporary 'south-side' fire station at the Borough Building Garage with Engine 25 from now until the Sewickley Creek bridge reopens.
The new interchange has, however, increased our normal response times to points west, north into Youngwood, east and west onto the PA Turnpike and south to Mt. Pleasant as we now have to travel further [about 1/2 mile] and navigate a traffic light in the process.
We struggle with the usual construction headaches and can't wait until it's all finished. It will provide a much safer traveling environment and will ultimately become a model for other interchanges. Until then, we have taken several steps to deal with the construction challenges: new response assignments, integrating the construction company safety officer into our smart-phone dispatching system, staffing a temporary, 'south-side' station and pre-planned for construction-related responses.
As you travel through town, be patient, slow down in construction zones and be aware of changing traffic patterns until all the dust settles. We have learned the entire project may be finished a year ahead of schedule [October 2017], which is great news. The I-70 bridge reopened June 13 and the Big Sewickley Creek bridge may be finished by July 27! The new interchange opened Feb. 23, 2017 and the old interchange is closed. Check out how to navigate through a round-a-bout by viewing the Penn DOT video:
There, you will find some pretty neat project videos [finished annimations], maps and updates. Below is a picture of the newly finished Rachael Drive round-a-bout, how New Stanton looked in 1955, before I-70 existed [the elementary school is no longer there either], two pictures of the southern round-a-bout [next to the Cracker Barrel Restaurant] and three short videos: one of the current interchange just as the project began September 2015, another from August 2016 and one from Feb. 2017 with the new interchange opened. These are large video files; be patient! You may also want to view a longer video from 1955 on our About Us page to see the town before I-70 was constructed. Here's three things we've discovered about the current design:
1. There is insufficient room in the round-a-abouts and on the interconnecting roadway berms for vehicles to pull over, whether for a breakdown or to yield to emergency vehicles.
2. The inner concrete "run over area" for tractor trailers has no visual contrast with the existing road surface, confusing drivers and causing them to drive straight ahead and not in a circular motion.
3. Modern LED lighting does not seem to be installed.
New Stanton Volunteer Fire Department
New Stanton Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association
Westmoreland County, PA
New Stanton Interchange Project – New Center Ave. Bridge over I- 70 NOW Open!
B-Day: Sewickley Creek Bridge closed Mar. 20, 2017 – still expected to reopen July 27
Interstate 70 [I -70] has been part of the New Stanton community since about 1957 when the four-lane 'super highway' bisected the small village [then part of Hempfield Twp.], taking five lots from the fire department in the process. The road connects the New Stanton exit of the PA Turnpike (exit 75) to points west.The village 'lost' it's small-town identity and slowly became the gas station, hotel, motel and restaurant mecca it is known for today.
Rachael Drive Round-a-bout, Feb. 24, 2017
New Stanton without I-70, Apr. 1955
S. Center Ave. Paving Begins, July 2017
Original interchange before construction began, Sept. 2015
Original interchange during construction, Aug. 2016