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2023 Construction Activities

Work will continue north on Route 981, from Route 819 towards the S-curve south of Cherry Blossom Drive and Shannon Drive. Work will start this spring to realign Hecla Road and Route 981, replace the Hurst Run culvert, final pavement will be placed throughout the new alignment, and the Route 981/Route 819 roundabout will be opened to traffic.

Section Q20 is the first of three Laurel Valley Transportation Improvement Projects (LVTIP) to advance to construction. The project will improve 4.5 miles from the Route 981/Route 819 intersection north of Norvelt near Windy Hill Drive.

Construction will include:

  • Route 981/819 Roundabout completion and traffic restoration
  • Route 981 reconstruction and widening from the new roundabout through the existing S-curve south of Cherry Blossom Lane
  • Final pavement on new alignment and opened to traffic
  • Route 981 widening and reconstruction from realigned Route 981 to intersection of Mount Pleasant, Hecla, and Kecksburg Roads including replacement of Hurst Run Culvert
  • Drainage improvements and off-alignment work near Windy Hill Road

New Boyer Run bridge - Feb 2023

2023 Construction Detours

Hecla State Detour 2023

Hecla/State Street Roundabout

Three detours are anticipated during the 2023 construction season associated with the construction of the Hecla Road/State Street roundabout.

Those detours will be encountered in the following order:

  • Hecla Road Detour: Spring 2023, two-month duration
  • State Street Detour: Summer 2023, seven continuous days, during school summer break
  • Combined Hecla Road and State Street Detour: Summer 2023, five continuous weekdays, during school summer break

Route 981 Open, Route 819 Remains Closed

Route 981 and Fiedors Grove Road are open and all detours have been lifted.

The Route 819 closure, just south of the intersection with Route 981 near Mount Pleasant, with related detours will remain in place.

Route 819 Detours

Route 819 closed at the southern approach to the intersection

Construction of the Route 819/Route 981 roundabout including sanitary sewer work and construction of a box culvert carrying Shupe Run under the new roadway

Route 819 Detours October 2022

Click to enlarge

Route 819 Truck Detour Route (Dark Blue):

  • Turn left at Route 31 (Main Street)
  • Use the Route 119 interchange to merge onto Route 119 northbound (toward New Stanton)
  • Stay on Route 119 northbound at the Route 66 interchange (toward Greensburg)
  • End detour at Route 119 intersection with Route 819


  • Use Route 119 south
  • Stay on Route 119 through the Route 66 interchange (toward Connellsville)
  • Use the Route 31 interchange to merge onto Route 31 eastbound (toward Mount Pleasant/Ruffs Dale)
  • End detour at Route 31 intersection with Route 819

Route 819 Passenger Detour Route (Green):

  • Turn right at State Street (Route 2007)
  • Turn left at Route 981
  • End detour at Route 981 intersection with Route 819


  • Turn left at Route 981
  • Turn right at State Street (Route 2007)
  • End detour at State Street (Route 2007) intersection with Route 819

Section Q20 Spring 2022 Excavation

2022 Construction Activity

Work is underway on the Route 981/Route 819 roundabout and the new realigned Route 981 between Hecla Road/State Street and the PA Turnpike. Construction crews are excavating for the new Route 981 alignment between Carpentertown Road and Walton's Lane. Work is ongoing for the 1.75-mile new alignment north of the PA Turnpike including relocation of Carpentertown Road and construction of a new Route 981/Boyer Road intersection. A new bridge will be constructed over Boyer Run. 

Additional work will be underway throughout the year with limited traffic impacts.

Detours will be in place periodically throughout the construction season. Details about anticipated detours are shown below.

Physical Construction Starts | December 6, 2021

Walsh Construction Company began physical construction on SR 981, Section Q20. Most of the work planned for the winter months was performed offline and no major traffic restrictions were expected.

Planned work included:

  • demolition of residential structures acquired during the right-of-way process,
  • clearing and grubbing for new alignment and widening areas, and
  • placing erosion and sedimentation controls.

Motorists are urged to drive with caution throughout the project area and to be alert to the presence of construction workers and vehicles entering and existing the roadway.

Section Q20 Construction vehicles

Speakers Groundbreaking

Officials Break Ground for LVTIP | November 12, 2021

Dozens of federal, state, and local leaders gathered to celebrate the beginning of construction on the LVTIP corridor, after decades of discussion, planning, and design work. Elected officials at the state, county, and local levels joined PennDOT officials and other partners to ceremonially break ground and acknowledge the collaborate efforts of many leaders and stakeholders whose efforts made the improvements on the corridor a reality.

Project Contacts

Dominec A. Caruso, P.E.

Title: PennDOT Construction Manager

Phone: 724.439.7286


Jeffrey R. Miller

Title: PennDOT Project Manager

Phone: 724.849.0029

Fax: 724.849.0047


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Project Overview

SR 981, Section Q20 is approximately 4.5 miles and extends from the intersection of SR 981 and SR 819, just north of Mount Pleasant Borough, and ends near the intersection of SR 981 and SR 2023 in Norvelt, Mount Pleasant Township. Section Q20 primarily follows SR 981 with some offline shifts to improve the roadway.

Anticipated Schedule

On June 10, 2021, PennDOT advertised the Section Q20 plans for contractors to bid on. All bids were opened on July 29, 2021, and the construction contract was awarded to Walsh Construction Company in late Summer 2021.

Walsh Construction Company of Pittsburgh, PA was issued Notice to Proceed (NTP) by PennDOT on September 21, 2021, marking the official start of construction.

Construction of this project will take approximately three construction seasons. Check back later for more details.

SR 981, Section Q20

Project Area Map

Learn more about the planned improvements for SR 981, Section Q20.

View Map

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Typical Section
Laurel Valley Corridor

The upgraded LVTIP corridor will include a two-lane typical section, featuring 12-foot travel lanes and eight-foot shoulders. Curves and grades will be improved throughout the corridor, and the roadway improvement will fit the community context.

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