View from Evans Street

Standing at Evans Street looking down across what used to be a hill with several homes, there is now a road constructed with just a bank and the stone wall separating it from Route 322 into Brookville. 

BROOKVILLE — The Route 322 and 28 road project in Brookville has been making visible progress at the top of East Main Street.

All of the houses and buildings the state acquired for the project have been torn down and the debris removed. Much of the landscape in the area has been changed since the demolition started at the beginning of summer.

With the start of fall, the question of what will come next for area residents follows. The intersection is a busy and well travelled route to and from town, being one of the direct connections to Interstate 80. Once the contractors finish with the first phase – the demolition and cleanup – there will be a lull in activity.

Right now the contractors are digging up the ground at what used to be the One Stop, known to locals as Hilltop. They are still in the process of removing the old fuel storage tanks, and taking all the contaminated soil to a landfill, and bringing in clean fill for the location. According to Michael Masisak, the project manager, he expects the workers to be done with this sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Once this is done, the contractors will be stepping back from the project for a bit. Utility companies will have to come in to move poles and wires to accommodate the new path of the road through the area.

“You won’t see much activity as far as that for probably about a year. All of next year, there won’t be anything going. Maybe a bit of small work, but nothing like what’s been going on,” Masisak said.

Gas lines in the area were being moved while the demolition was taking place, and are almost done. The rest of the utilities should not disrupt the flow of traffic through the area, as much of the work will be aerial.

“Windstream will be coming in, they’ll have to set their poles. Penelec will follow, they’ll throw wires on. That’s going to take some time. That’s why we’re leaving that wall in... Once the utilities are in, that wall and everything will be removed,” he said.

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Masisak is referring to the large stone wall running up the right side of the hill of East Main Street. He believes the borough will be taking the stones from the wall. He expects the workers to only have a few more weeks of work before they will quit for the winter.

“They’re hoping to come back in next year and do more work, but that’s all going to be utility controlled,” Masisak said.

Once the contractors are done digging and reseeding the area, the only work being done will be the utility companies moving their equipment.

Final work on the road project won’t be finished until 2021.

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