Caution: Bumpy road ahead on West Allens Lane

Mt. Airy residents who have been inconvenienced by Philadelphia Water Department work on West Allens Lane that began Oct 24 will have to be patient or take new routes for the next 14 months, according to PWD spokesman John Digiulio.

The project to replace the aging street water mains on the street, he said in a phone interview on Friday, January 6, won’t be finished until March 2013. The reason? The job of digging up and replacing street mains that began in October is only the beginning of a four-part project that will stretch the entire length of West Allens Lane.

The four parts are Allens Lane from Cresheim Road to Lincoln Drive, from Lincoln Drive to McCallum Street, from McCallum to Wissahickon Avenue, and from Germantown Avenue to Cresheim Road.

The section between Cresheim Road to McCallum Street is the one being worked at the moment, with crews concentrating their attention on the closed- off stretch between Emlen and McCallum streets on Friday.

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Digiulio could not give a timetable for when each stretch is due for attention, saying he only had information about the start and finish dates of the whole project, which he described as “one of our regular capital improvement projects. These are all street mains we’re working on. They have outlived their useful lifespan.”

Work hours and street closings on the project are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., said Digiulio, with what he described as “street constrictions” – detours – between those hours. Whenever possible, he said, the road will be open to traffic during non-work hours.

The road surface, while passable during construction, is extremely rough. Motorists should be cautious and take it very slowly. Digiulio said that the PWD had so far received “no complaints that I’m aware of” regarding the work and condition of the roadway.

Digiulio said that the project was on schedule so far and that the warm and dry fall weather had helped. “In terms of weather cooperation, we’ve had that,” he said.

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