CRANBERRY TWP — Cranberry Township supervisors granted approval for the MSA Thruway project during their Thursday night meeting.
The thruway will connect Cranberry Springs and developments north of Route 228 with MSA and provide access from Interstate 79 to the Cranberry Springs development.
Supervisors unanimously voted to award the construction contract to Allegheny Excavating for $12,048,069.
“It's been a long ride,” said Richard Hadley, supervisor chairman. “A hard ride.”
Township manager Jerry Andree reminded supervisors the thruway is part of the Route 228 corridor and aims to decongest traffic along the busy road.
The thruway is named after MSA because the company donated the land — estimated at $3.5 million — for the project.
Approval for the thruway comes after the township's participation in years of comprehensive planning.
“The board just completed the first comprehensive plan after 20 years,” Andree said.
Assistant township manager Dan Santoro told the board the money they approved for the project Thursday night may be the largest amount in 10 years. Three items associated with the project amounted to almost $19.9 million.
Santoro said the township anticipates the thruway taking 700 vehicles off Route 228 during peak afternoon hours. The thruway is also expected to reduce vehicle lines for I-79 north by 40 percent in peak morning hours.
“It's a significant investment,” Santoro said. “But it's going to have a significant impact on reducing traffic congestion and delay.”
Supervisors also approved a funding agreement with land developer Sippel Enterprises and a tri-party agreement between the township, Sippel and UPMC. UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex is part of Cranberry Springs.
Supervisors approved purchasing construction inspection services through Whitman, Requardt & Associates, for $1,119,000.
Andree also received approval to submit a request for fund distribution not to exceed $6,714,039.12 from Butler County Infrastructure Bank by Dec. 10.
The funding would cover contract costs for the thruway's water tank valve project.
“It's extensive work,” Andree said. “We're very confident the financing and program (that was) put together is solid.”
Thruway construction is expected to begin in the spring, with an estimated end date of winter 2021.
Route 228 will be narrowed during corridor work, but should maintain its current number of lanes.
“It's all what makes Cranberry a great place to live,” Hadley said.