BUTLER, Pa. - Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials announced Tuesday plans to make major renovations to Freedom Road in Butler and Beaver counties.
PennDOT officials said the changes are needed, and the project is expected to take four years to finish.
The road is currently a two-lane country road that needs to be revitalized because there’s more and more activity in the area each day, officials said.
“The state’s No. 1 priority is public safety, and this project is all about public safety,” State Rep. Jim Marshall said.
With sharp turns and steep hills, the road has been the site of several fatal accidents.
“Eighty-one million dollars in state funds have been allocated for this section of highway,” PennDOT district engineer Dan Cessna said.
Officials said the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.
The work calls for eliminating all curves and creating a 40 mph, 3 ½ mile straightaway.
To accomplish this, several properties will be purchased through eminent domain, and Crows Run Creek will be relocated.
“The benefit of this is that we’ve minimized the number of culverts and that is also helpful from an environmental standpoint,” Cessna said.
Local leads are looking for a significant economic impact as the improved stretch of road will connect the Ohio River Valley to Interstate 79 and the Turnpike.
The project is expected to be complete by 2020.