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Road work in 2021: What's planned in central Pennsylvania, plus the pandemic's impact

Teresa Boeckel
York Daily Record

A new roundabout will be coming in Lebanon County to help make a T-intersection safer.

In Franklin County, a more-than-100-year-old bridge is being replaced with a modern structure.

And in York County, work continues on the beleaguered Interstate 83 Mount Rose Avenue makeover, which originally was expected to be done more than two years ago.

These are some of the state Department of Transportation road projects in central Pennsylvania already underway or are expected to start this year.

While funding exists for all of the current projects, the pandemic has taken a toll. Gas taxes are down as people are driving less.

The department originally projected losses of more than $800 million from the onset of the pandemic through June 2021, said Alexis Campbell, a spokeswoman for PennDOT.  While traffic volumes have returned to about 85 percent of normal, the agency still expects to be down $600 million.

"While we lost less revenue than we initially thought, we still lost that revenue forever," she said in an email.

Money from a federal COVID-19 relief package will help to cover those costs, Campbell said.

PennDOT expects to receive about $410 million near the end of this month.

In November, PennDOT had cited an $8.1 billion gap in road and bridge funding that is needed to keep the transportation system in good repair, according to a news release. Those needs exist outside of what is being financed. Gas taxes, which make up 74 percent of the department's funding, have become unreliable, and federal funding has remained flat.

A new program, called PennDOT Pathways, is looking at a variety of options to solve the funding problem, including tolling tunnels, bridges or roadways, and charging motorists a fee for each mile driven in a year. The public was asked to provide feedback on several proposals last year.

These are the many new lanes of Haines Road, looking north, and the Route 124 intersection near the Mount Rose interchange of Interstate 83 in January 2021. Work on the delayed project is expected to conclude in May.

Meanwhile, here is what's planned for 2021, as these projects are already funded:

Adams County

Route 94 improvements

Crews will be finishing a project that involves repairing and resurfacing Route 94 in eastern Adams County.

The work, which is between the intersections of Green Springs and Berlin roads, is expected to be finished in the spring.

Work on Route 194, which also was part of the contract, was completed in 2019. 

J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pa. is the contractor on the nearly $3.3 million project.

Route 234 bridge replacements

Two bridges along Route 234 will be replaced as part of a $1.1 million project.

The work also includes roadway reconstruction on Route 234 in Tyrone and Franklin townships.

The work is expected to be completed in August.

More:I-83 work: Buildings coming down for new entrance ramp at North George Street interchange

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Franklin County

Route 11 traffic signals

Drivers who travel Route 11 will see some traffic signal improvements along the corridor.

They will be made at dozens of intersections in Chambersburg borough and Greene, Hamilton, Peters and Guilford townships.

The project will cost $3.1 million.

Work is scheduled to begin soon. Completion is set for the spring of 2022.

Route 30 structures to be replaced

Six bridges will be replaced or rehabilitated on Route 30 in Saint Thomas and Hamilton townships.

The work will cost $7 million.

The contractor has removed some trees and installed a construction entrance for utility relocations. Bridge replacement is expected to start in March. 

Completion is expected in August 2023.

Main Street improvements in Greene Twp.

Nearly 1.5 miles of Main Street in Greene Township will receive a facelift.

The nearly $4.5 million project includes base repairs, resurfacing, and installation of drainage, curbs and sidewalk. Work has begun, and the contractor is doing tree removal. 

The work is expected to be finished in October 2022. 

Heisey Road bridge replacement

one-lane bridge on Heisey Road in Montgomery Township is being replaced with a new span.

Work began last year to replace the metal truss bridge that was built in 1904 over the West Branch of the Conococheague Creek. A new two-lane span will take its place. 

The cost is $1.5 million.

The project, which is about halfway finished, is slated to be done in May.

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Lebanon County

Roundabout in North Cornwall Twp.

A roundabout will be constructed in North Cornwall Township as part of improvements along Route 241.

The project limits are from the intersection with Route 322 to the Lebanon City line. 

The $3.4 million project involves resurfacing, constructing a roundabout and realigning curves along 3.88 miles of Route 241. The limits are between the intersection with US 322 to the Lebanon City line.

Pennsy Supply Inc. is the contractor and received the notice to proceed in November.

The roundabout will be constructed at Route 241 and Rocherty Road. It's a T-intersection where a fatality occurred years ago.

With development and more traffic, vehicles have been stacking up on Rocherty Road, waiting to turn onto Route 241, township manager Thomas Long said. 

Officials hope the roundabout will slow speeds and provide safer access onto Route 241, he said.

The project is expected to be completed in October 2021. 

Route 422 resurfacing

Crews will resurface Route 422 in Lebanon City.

The work will be done on Route 422 East from the intersection from 12th and Cumberland streets to the intersection of Walnut Street and 5th Avenue. It also includes minor drainage work on a local city street.

The nearly $1.8 million project is expected to be completed in August. 

Safe routes to elementary school

Students will be able to walk or ride a bike to Northwest Elementary School in the Lebanon County School District when this project is completed.

Paths to the new elementary school will be constructed along Lehman Street, Old Forge Road and Concentrator Road. The improvements will include curb ramps that are accessible for people with disabilities and painted crosswalks.

The overall length of the project is 1.34 miles. The cost is $659,913.

A June completion is anticipated.

Route 22 bridge replacement

A Route 22 span over Beach Run in Bethel Township is being replaced.

Two lanes of traffic — one in each direction — will be maintained during construction.

The improvements include approach roadway reconstruction, drainage replacement and guide rail replacement.

As part of the same contract, crews will be replacing an existing arch culvert on Route 934 in North Annville Township with a precast concrete box culvert. The work includes a pipe replacement under Hill Church Road and guide rail replacement along Ono Road. 

The $3.4 million project is expected to be finished in November.

Route 422 bridge replacements

Two bridge replacements are planned on Route 422 in Jackson Township.

The project will cost $3 million.

The work is expected to be completed in July 2022.

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York County

I-83 Mount Rose Avenue 

It'll mark six years this summer that the I-83 Mount Rose interchange has been under construction. That's double the amount of time it was expected to take originally.

The project, which was bid for $58.3 million, involves a full reconfiguration of the interchange to relieve a bottleneck and reduce crashes. It includes new ramps, bridges and traffic signals with real-time traffic management at six intersections.

The beleaguered project has drawn criticism from lawmakers and the public because of the lengthy delays.

PennDOT and the contractor, Cherry Hill Construction of Jessup, Maryland, remain locked in a legal battle over the delays. The matter remains before the state Board of Claims. The tribunal acts as a trial court for contractor claims filed against the state.

The contractor has told PennDOT that the project is expected to be completed in May. 

I-83 Shrewsbury interchange

A new wider Interstate 83 overpass at the Shrewsbury exit in January 2021 begins to show how the $29.8 million diverging diamond interchange will work.

Crews are expected to finish a new diverging diamond interchange at Exit 4 by September. It's one of the first interchanges of its kind in central Pennsylvania.

A "diverging diamond" is expected to handle more traffic, improve safety and last a decade longer than a tight diamond, which is similar to the old configuration.

The three-year project has involved replacing the I-83 bridges over Route 851 and widening the road underneath to create a new double crossover traffic pattern.

Another traffic switch was made at the interchange in early January, according to a news release. Motorists on Route 851 were moved over from the south side to the newly constructed north side.

Kinsley Construction has been doing the work for $29.9 million.

New I-83 ramp at Exit 22 

Crews started work last fall to build a new entrance ramp to I-83 North at the North George Street interchange.

Passersby have likely seen the recent demolition of buildings for construction of the ramp.

The new entrance ramp will be built farther north along North George Street and across from Skyview Drive. It will replace the tight Exit 22 interchange on-ramp, which offers almost no room to accelerate onto the highway.

The work also involves resurfacing I-83 from North George Street to the Locust Lane overpass, putting a new traffic signal at the ramp entrance and more.

It's an early project in preparation for the widening of I-83 from four to six lanes in the York area. The work includes other improvements, too, such as the resurfacing of the highway from North George Street to the Locust Lane overpass.

Kinsley Construction is doing the work for nearly $12.4 million.

The new ramp is expected to be completed in October 2022.

Route 15 improvements

A $20.6 million project along Route 15 in northern York and Adams counties will get underway this year. 

Pushed back in 2020, it will help to make changes at dangerous intersections in the Dillsburg area. The work will stretch from south of Dillsburg in York County to south of York Springs in Adams County. 

The improvements will include closing some medians, prohibiting left turns, and redirecting traffic to new cul-de-sacs at County Line Road that will allow traffic to make special U-turns. These also have been referred to as "Michigan lefts."

The highway will get a new coat of asphalt, too.

Hempt Brothers of Camp Hill is the contractor. 

The project is expected to be finished in August 2023.

Route 74 bridge replacement

Crews will replace a bridge on Route 74 in Wellsville borough this year.

Doli Construction Corp. in Chalfont, Pa. will be doing the work for $474,948.

The project is expected to be finished in the fall.