SR 0160-022 Wellersburg Safety Improvements
The Wellersburg Safety Improvements Project is located along SR 0160 in Larimer and Southampton Townships and Wellersburg Borough, Somerset County. This portion of the roadway on Big Savage Mountain contains several steep grades and sharp curves. An existing truck pull-off at the top of the mountain provided an area to cool the truck’s brakes, but it only accommodated one vehicle. Incidents of runaway trucks causing severe crashes led PennDOT to enlist an engineering team to evaluate and design safety improvements along this portion of the mountain.
The primary project goals were to:
- Increase the capacity of the truck pull-off at the top of the mountain to accommodate multiple trucks
- Provide a large diagrammatic sign at the pull-off to prepare truck drivers for the descent of the mountain
- Install ITS message boards down the mountain to notify trucks of the sharp curve and of the required 20 MPH truck speed limit
- Prioritize downhill truck traffic through the single lane work zones since these vehicles will have difficulty stopping on the steep vertical grades
As a subconsultant, Gibson-Thomas’s role was to design the signing, pavement markings, and delineation throughout the project area. The ITS devices designed by our firm included vehicle detection systems to identify trucks and dynamic message boards. Gibson-Thomas also prepared the right-of-way plans and traffic control plans.
Construction of the improvements cost approximately $1.2 million. The project was let in June 2018 and construction was completed in Fall 2019.