Use caution while travelling Valley Brook detours

Published May 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm (Updated May 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm)

It’s here – the dreaded closing of the Valley Brook Road ramp leading to Route 19 in Peters Township.

By now, if you live in the affected area or travel it for any reason, you have likely sat in snarls of traffic as the 11,000 motorists who travel that route each day adjust to the detours. The traffic situation is predicted to be particularly bad on East McMurray Road during the hours that the busses are taking students to and from school.

And, unless you live under a rock, you are aware that the ramp will remain closed until at least July 2014.

Of course, the benefits of the $4.9 million project far outweigh the temporary difficulties. The new ramp, bridgework and realigned intersection will not only be safer, according to PennDOT spokeswoman Valerie Petersen, but it will improve the flow of traffic there as well. Currently, getting from Valley Brook Road onto or even under Route 19 during peak hours is no picnic.

The most important thing to keep in mind during this time is cooperation. Motorists need to be respectful of one another, and of the residential neighborhoods that they will detour through. While the official detours include Mayview, Boyce and McMurray roads, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that people will find other routes that they feel work better for them, including back roads through areas where people run and walk their dogs and where children ride their bikes.

It is vital that people adhere to the speed limits and pay attention to the road in these areas.

Stop signs along the detours and in residential neighborhoods may be added, depending on how traffic flow goes.

Oh, and lets not forget the frustration that will ensue as area roads seemingly become parking lots. Hopefully, road rage is not another issue that people will have to contend with.

With any luck, things will get easier once motorists adjust and find their bearings, and once school lets out next month.

Hopefully – albeit doubtfully – the next 14 months will be smooth sailing.

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