All posts tagged PennDOT

PennDOT to Host Open House Meeting

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) invites the public to an open house meeting to review options developed through the Liberty Street (Route 62) and 12th Street Intersection Improvements Study in Franklin.

The purpose of the meeting is to share safety and geometric improvement options for the intersection and gather feedback from attendees on which options best meet the safety needs of the project. 

PennDOT representatives, along with design consultants, will be available to answer questions and explain the various options.

The open house will be held on Tuesday, January 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church fellowship hall 1102 Liberty Street, Franklin (Enter the red, street-level side door off 11th Street).

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Leadership Venango Holds Second Session: Maximizing Clean Communications

The 2020 Class of Leadership Venango met on November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 Office in Oil City to discuss “Maximizing Clean Communications.”

The day began with a welcome from Jim Foringer, District Executive of PennDOT District 1. Jim provided an overview of PennDOT District 1 territory and responsibilities, helping the class better understand the scope of work that comes out of our region.

The rest of the morning was spent with Jill Harry, PennDOT District 1 Press Officer and Ashley (Cowles) Sheffer, program manager of Be Here. Jill shared her experience working in Media Relations. She reviewed how to appropriately and effectively connect with different types of media to provide them the information they are seeking, while best representing your business or organization. Ashley provided insights on how to use social media to connect with customers. She reviewed the features of the social media platforms to market your business. Jill and Ashley engaged the class in several interactive exercises.

Over lunch, Lucas Salusky with Identity Studio & Design took a class photo on the steps of the Venango Museum and took each class member’s professional headshot.

Betsy Kellner, Executive Director of the Venango Museum, gave an overview of the museum and demonstrated their Theatre Organ. Several class members were visiting the museum for the first time. Cindy Urban, President of Klapec Trucking Co (KTC), and Greg Lander, Vice President of KTC, joined the class for lunch. Greg is also a 2019 Leadership Venango graduate.

To begin the afternoon, Brian McNulty, Assistant District Executive at PennDOT District 1 and 2019 Leadership Venango Graduate, gave a presentation about Project Management. He provided an overview of PennDOT projects and explained the process they use, beginning with the goals in mind.  Brian then worked with the class to explore how this process could work for them with the Leadership Venango team projects.

The remainder of the day was spent with Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for Northwest IRC, on Effective Communication. The class learned about communication channels and barriers and discussed verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills. Susan also talked about communication across different generations and cultures.

While class feedback showed that every part of the day was appreciated by participants, many cited the value of being reminded to actively listen and suggested they would be more mindful of this, in returning to work and home.

Find bios for the 2020 class of Leadership Venango here.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Yogi Berra – What does he have to do with Route 8 Reconstruction ?

197b1b4f9161e627350d0a75c0430d5c_144316141126In 1973, American Baseball Great and part time philosopher Yogi Berra uttered the famous quote “it ain’t over till it’s over.”  This March, after PennDOT announced they would no longer be considering two lane options for the Route 8 resurfacing project between Franklin and Barkeyville, the public uttered a collective sigh of relief.

This section of highway is the economic lifeline for Venango County, connecting towns from Franklin to Warren to Interstate 80.  Two elements led to this decision.

First, the cost of resurfacing the highway as two-lanes versus four-lanes is not significantly different.  If done, the traffic congestion would increase immediately upon completion of the road work.  When you consider that the life of the surface is from 25 to 40 years, this decision is a big one for the future of our region and would be a gamble that highway activity would not increase significantly over this period of time.  PennDOT wisely took this into account.

The second factor was the strong public outcry for maintaining this highway as a four-lane road.  Over 300 people attended the meeting at Franklin High School in February to show support and that definitely had an impact on the decision.

But back to Yogi Berra—PennDOT announced on March 28 that they would no longer be considering two-lane options in a press release, but the job is not over.  The official decision will be made by vote over the next month and then we will know for sure.  The process of approval will follow the path below:

  • 5/11 thru 6/11: The Draft TIP (Transportation Plan) will be on public display at the Northwest Commission office for those interested in seeing what transportation projects will be included in the 2019 – 2022 Plan
  • 6/11: A public information meeting will be held on the 2019–2022 TIP from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Northwest Commission office.
  • 6/26: The Northwest TAC (Transportation Advisory Committee) will vote on the 2019–2022 TIP at the PennDOT District 1-0 office at 1 p.m.  This is the key meeting where the decision for funding will be approved.  Later that day, a public comment meeting will be held on the proposals for the Route 8 project options but the decision for funding will have been addressed by that time.  The public is encouraged to attend either or both meetings.

Our community really stepped up to support the retention of four-lanes on Route 8, which was inspiring to see.  Your continued support is encouraged through the TAC meeting on June 26.  Remember—“It ain’t over till it’s over.”