Signs of the new restriction are also to be posted along Pa. Routes 18 and 168.
By VIRGINIA ROSS
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Truck traffic along Cherry Street in Mahoningtown likely will be restricted to local deliveries by mid-October, state officials said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation intends to post street signs advising truck drivers that only trucks making local deliveries are permitted through that area of the city.
H. Daniel Cessna, PennDOT district executive, said the state has developed a plan that will allow trucks to travel north on Liberty Street (Pa. Route 18) to Mahoning Avenue, then onto Moravia Street (Pa. Route 168) to Pa. Route 60 and vice versa.
Signs notifying truck drivers of the new restriction are also to be posted along Routes 18 and 168.
Business owners and residents in that area have long complained to city officials about truck traffic. They have said they are not against trucks' making local deliveries, but see no need for trucks traveling cross-country to use Cherry Street.
At recent council meetings, city officials have said large trucks -- trucks that need to make wide turns at the Cherry Street and Liberty Street intersection -- have torn up sidewalks and created a safety issue with residents and the business community.
Residents have complained about the debris left along the road from the torn-up sidewalks. Residents and city officials have speculated the truck drivers use Cherry Street to avoid paying tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike portion of Route 60.
Earlier this summer, Mayor Wayne Alexander said he would look into the possibility of having the city take over Cherry Street so the city could post it.
On Aug. 10, he and Cessna met with state Sen. Gerald LaValle of Rochester, D-47th, who serves parts of Lawrence County, to discuss the best course of action to deal with the issue. Cessna said the street could be restricted without the city's taking ownership of it.