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Mars Area School District’s school zone lights turned off as part of Route 228 expansion project

Motorists may notice the school zone lights leading up to Mars Area School District on Route 228 are turned off.

Electrical service to the lights, which are owned by Adams Township, was turned off as part of the Route 228 expansion project, which will widen the road.

According to the state Department of Transportation “the lights were left functional as long as possible until the point that the construction of GetGo and then our widening project required the electrical service to be terminated.”

Township manager Gary Peaco said the lights will be removed “as needed” for the construction process and noted the design and engineering of the widening project indicated the lights would not required.

Remaining signs will be removed once they are in conflict with proposed roadwork, PennDOT stated.

The agency also said the school zone is no longer warranted, since Mars Area School District no longer has students walking to and from school.

“A 15-mile-per-hour school zone speed limit may be established in a school zone during the normal hours that walking students are arriving at or leaving school,” PennDOT stated. “Mars no longer has any walkers, so the school zone is no longer warranted and technically should not be enforced. This was discussed with the township through the design coordination of the project.”

“We continue to work with the township and school district to promote safe motorist and pedestrian behaviors in work zones,” PennDOT stated. “We have been providing project updates as well as highlighting safe driving techniques and pedestrian safety tips in the Mars Area School District newsletter throughout the project.”

When asked if any alternative safety measures were being discussed to slow traffic or enhance safety in the school zone, Peaco answered “township police are constantly in the area and monitor traffic as needed.”

“Our police are always concerned about the roads in the township and specifically the school and the construction (zones),” he said.

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