Those traveling Route 119 southbound through Connellsville should expect delays as PA American Water continues work on a $1.8 million water system upgrade along Route 119/South 9th Street.

The project will upgrade 2,500 feet of an aging water mainline, replacing the 110-year-old line along the heavily-traveled state road between West Crawford Avenue, West Green Street and Morrell Avenue, according to PA American.

Breaks in the aging main have been the source of inconvenience, and have caused safety issues for motorists and especially residents in recent months, officials said.

Initially, the project called for Route 119 to be restricted to one lane only in the evening hours while work occurred, but recently Connellsville officials were told that the company received permission from the state Department of Transportation to do daylight work as well. The work during the day has caused intermittent traffic delays.

Connellsville Police Chief William Hammerle said that the work is slated to continue another five to six weeks, cautioning that those traveling through the corridor should expect delays. On Friday morning, the left lane of southbound travel was closed, causing delays near the Martin’s plaza.

“These upgrades will improve water service reliability and fire protection for our Connellsville customers,” said Tim Berdar, PA American superintendent, adding that the lines are at the end of their service life and needed replaced.

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