PENNSYLVANIA, USA — In Central Pennsylvania, roadway construction projects are a rite of summer as reliable as warm temperatures, thunderstorms, and fireflies.
But this year promises to be even busier.
Thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced state officials to postpone several projects due to safety concerns, the amount of construction work in 2020 was limited.
Not so this year.
A recent article in Pennlive said Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials announced last week that this year there are nearly 100 road construction projects planned for District 8, which covers Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties.
That number includes some 80 projects that are already active and nearly two dozen more in the planning stages for 2021 and beyond, according to state officials.
The sheer number of construction projects could mean longer road trips for Central PA's beleaguered drivers.
Here are some of the biggest current and upcoming projects in the midstate, divided by county:
Route 15 Resurfacing/Safety Improvement
Spanning a portion of Route 15 in Huntington and Latimore townships in Adams County (plus Franklin and Carroll townships in York County), this $19.4 million project involves the resurfacing of the entire pavement width (including roadway and shoulders), along with milling, pavement construction and reconstruction, subbase, drainage improvements, rock placement, rock slope excavation, and guide rail replacement -- along with new pavement markings and signage.
The project will also lengthen acceleration and deceleration lanes on the highway, according to PennDOT.
The affected area of Route 15 lies between York Springs and Dillsburg.
Work on the project is expected to last through August 2023.
Route 94 and Route 234 Intersection Improvement
This $3.7 million project includes the addition of four left-turn lanes, upgraded traffic signals, curbs, and curb lamps, along with drainage improvements and pavement markings at the intersection of Route 94 and Route 234 in Reading Township.
The project includes the addition of four left-turn lanes, signal upgrades, curbs and curb ramps, drainage improvements, and pavement markings in Reading Township, just north of Hampton.
Work on the project is expected to be complete by June 7, 2022.
Carlisle Pike Resurfacing
Work on a 4.19-mile stretch of Route 94 spanning Berwick, Hamilton, and Oxford Townships includes milling and resurfacing of the existing road surface and shoulders, along with drainage, guide rail and base replacement. The affected area stretches from just north of Green Springs Road to the intersection with Berlin Road. The $3.3 million project also includes work on Route 194 from just south of the intersection with Town Circle to north of the intersection with Short Cut Road in Berwick and Hamilton townships and Abbotstown Borough.
The project, already underway, is scheduled to be finished by July 3.
Resurfacing and Highway Preservation on I-81
This project affects a 12.3-mile stretch of Interstate 81 between the Franklin County line and the Kutz Road bridge in Penn Township.
The $26.5 million project includes milling, resurfacing, base repairs, concrete patching, guide rail upgrades, pavement markings, and minor bridge work. The span of I-81 lies along Southampton, Shippensburg, South Newton, and Penn townships, and is expected to last until October 2022.
Route 11 Resurfacing
This $3.4 million project spans a 4.5-mile portion of Route 11 from Shippensburg Borough to Foltz/Kline Road in Southampton Township. It includes milling and paving in the borough, full-depth reconstruction at the intersection of Route 11 and Newville Road in Southampton Township, along with base replacement, drainage improvements, guide rail replacement, pavement markings, ADA ramp improvements, and other work in Shippensburg and Southampton townships.
The project is scheduled to be finished by November.
High Street Bridge Replacement
The 83-year-old High Street Bridge carries Route 74 over Letort Spring Run in Carlisle Borough. It will be replaced with a new structure in this $2.6 million project, which is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.
Workers will remove the existing two-span concrete T-beam bridge and replace it with a two-span prestressed concrete spread box beam bridge.
The project also includes installation of erosion and sediment control measures, drainage work, roadway approach construction, and new guide rails, signs, and pavement markings.
Interstate 83 Widening and Rebulding
The ongoing work on this $104.8 million project, which affects a 2.77-mile portion of Interstate 83 east of Harrisburg between Exit 48 (Union Deposit Road) and Exit 51 (Interstate 81) is expected to be completed next spring. It consists of the replacement and widening of the existing mainline bridges at Valley Road and three other locations, widening the culvert at Slotznick Run, and the building of new retaining walls and sound walls in the nearby residential areas.
Route 22 to Route 225 Resurfacing
This project, which covers a 6.1-mile span of Route 22 from Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg to Route 225 in Dauphin Borough, includes concrete base repairs, patching, milling, resurfacing, tree removal, guide rail updates, and minor drainage on Route 22 in Susquehanna and Middle Paxton townships, the city of Harrisburg and Dauphin Borough, along with a section of Elmerton Evenue eastward from the intersection with Route 22 (Cameron Street) and the ramps of Interstate 81, Route 39 (Linglestown Road) and Route 443.
The $13.5 million project also includes the placement of mile markers on Route 22 from Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg to the Perry County border.
Work is expected to be complete by August 2022.
Sound Wall Installation on Interstate 81
The installation of a two-mile sound wall along Interstate 81 in Dauphin County from Exit 70 (I-83) to Exit 72 (Mountain Road) includes construction and installation of six sections of sound wall, drainage improvements, shoulder widening, and new guide rail, signage, and pavement markings.
The $8.9 million project is expected to be finished in November.
Route 39 Pavement Preservation
This $3.3 million project covers a 3.5-mile span of Route 39 in Derry Township and includes roadway resurfacing, base repair, drainage and guide rail updates, and ADA, signing and pavement markings from Clearwater Road to just north of Boat House Road.
The project also includes the resurfacing of Route 743 from Sand Beach Road to Swatara Road, the resurfacing of Route 2036 from Laudermilch Road to North Lingle Avenue, and the resurfacing of Route 2018 (Walton Avenue) from south of Alison Drive to the intersection with Route 39.
Work is scheduled to be complete by Dec. 1.
Route 30 Structure Replacement/Rehabilitation
This $7.1 million project includes the replacement or rehabilitation of six structures in Saint Thomas and Hamilton Townships.
The staged construction includes:
- The replacement of the existing single-span concrete T-beam bridge over a Branch of Campbell Run in Saint Thomas Township
- The replacement of the existing 60-inch pipe culvert over a Tributary to Campbell Run on Route 30 in Saint Thomas Township
- The replacement of the existing single-span concrete T-beam bridge over a Tributary to Back Creek on Route 30 in Saint Thomas Township
- The rehabilitation of the existing concrete arch culvert over a Tributary to Back Creek on Route 30 in Saint Thomas Township
- The rehabilitation of the existing concrete arch culvert over a Tributary to Back Creek on Route 30 in Hamilton Township
- The replacement of the existing concrete arch culvert over a Tributary to Back Creek on Route 30 in Hamilton Township
Minor roadway approach work and other miscellaneous construction are included for each project.
Work is expected to be complete by August 2023.
Main Street Resurfacing in Village of Scotland
This $5.1 million project covers a 1.5-mile span of Main Street (Route 1006) in the Village of Scotland in Greene Township. It consists of base repairs, drainage installation, resurfacing, reconstruction, curb and sidewalk installation, box culvert installation, and other miscellaneous construction the entire length of Main Street, which intersects at either end with Route 997.
Work is scheduled to be finished by October 2022.
Bridge replacement and Bridge Preservation, Chambersburg
This $1.8 million project is a two-bridge bundle, replacing one structure and preserving another.
The lead project is the replacement of a single span concrete arch over Falling Spring Branch with a composite prestressed concrete adjacent plank beam bridge, minor approach paving, minor drainage improvements, and utility relocations on Route 11 in Chambersburg.
The subordinate project is the preservation of a single-span prestressed I-beam bridge over Conococheague Creek including minor approach paving on Route 30 in Chambersburg.
Work is expected to be finished by Nov. 18.
By far the busiest county in Central PA in terms of ongoing or planned construction projects, Lancaster County has 15 projects either underway or about to begin.
Route 283/Route 722 (State Road) Interchange
This $18.5 million project includes the widening and reconstruction of State Road through the Route 283 interchange, the replacement of the Route 722 bridge over Route 283, and the replacement of the bridge carrying the municipally-owned portion of State Road over the Amtrak railroad tracks. It also includes installation of drainage and stormwater basins, reconstruction of the four interchange ramps, traffic signal work, and installation of new guide rail, signs and pavement markings.
The long-time project is expected to be finished by September.
Route 322/Route 222 Interchange
The diverging diamond interchange at the intersection of Route 322 and Route 222 in Ephrata Township is designed to improve safety by eliminating left turns and through movements and improves operations by providing dedicated turn lanes and decreasing backlogs onto Route 222.
The $10.9 million project includes pavement resurfacing, reconstruction and widening, ramp reconfiguration, new traffic signals, drainage, signs, sidewalks, stormwater management, highway lighting, and other miscellaneous construction between Pleasant Valley Road and Hahnstown Road in Ephrata and West Earl townships.
Work is scheduled to be finished in May 2022.
Resurfacing project on Route 222
Anticipated completion date: Aug. 5, 2022
The $6.3 million project consists of milling, paving, base repairs, concrete patching, guide rail upgrades, drainage improvements, new signage and new pavement markings on a 3.4-mile stretch of Route 222 between Mohler Church Road in Ephrata Township and the Pool Road overpass in West Earl Township.
The work is scheduled to be finished by August 2022.
Bridge Replacement on Route 230
This $2.9 million project involves the replacement of two bridges -- one carrying Route 230 (Harrisburg Pike) over a tributary to Donegal Creek in Mount Joy Township, and the other carrying Route 772 over Donegal Creek in East Donegal Township.
The work is part of a contract to replace two bridges with single-span prestressed concrete spread box beam bridges on integral abutments with approach slabs. Other work includes minor approach shoulder widening and roadway reconstruction.
The work is scheduled to be finished by Nov. 1.
Pavement Preservation on Route 283
This $2.5 million project affects a 2.43-mile span of Route 283 between Mount Joy Township and Elizabethtown Borough. It involves diamond grinding, concrete patching, spall repair, guide rail updates, pavement marking updates.
Work is scheduled to be complete by Oct. 7.
Interstate 78 and Interstate 81 Pavement Preservation
This $5.5 million project covers portions of Interstate 78 and Interstate 81 in East Hanover, Union, and Bethel townships. It consists of diamond grinding, concrete patching, spall repair, signing and pavement markings, and shoulder rumble strips on both interstates, along with work on the westbound I-78 ramp to Route 22 in Lebanon County and on Interstate 81 in Dauphin County.
Work is expected to be finished in July 2022.
Colebrook Road Improvement
This $3.4 million project covers a 3.88-mile portion of Colebrook Road (Route 241) from the intersection of Route 322 in North Cornwall Township to the Lebanon City limits. It includes roadway resurfacing, the construction of a roundabout, realignment of curves, drainage improvements, and updated signage.
Work is expected to be finished by Oct. 29.
Bethel Township Bridge Replacement
This $3.4 million project involves the replacement of a bridge carrying Route 22 over Beach Run in Bethel Township. The bridge will be replaced with a single-span prestressed concrete spread box beam bridge with reinforced concrete integral abutments.
The project also includes approach roadway reconstruction, drainage replacement, guide rail replacement, pavement markings, and new signage. It will utilize half-width construction to maintain two lanes of traffic, one in each direction.
This project also includes the replacement of an existing single-span concrete arch culvert with a single-span precast concrete box culvert. This culvert is in North Annville Township on Route 934.
The work is scheduled to be finished by Nov. 8.
William Penn Highway Resurfacing
This $9.7 million project includes concrete patching, the removal of the bituminous surface, resurfacing, tree removal, and guide rail updates on Route 22 (William Penn Highway) in Greenwood, Howe, Buffalo, and Watts townships from Owl Hollow Road east to the Perry County/Dauphin County line and from Owl Hollow Road west of the Newport Road interchange.
The project also includes work on the on-ramps at Huggins Road and Meadow Grove Road.
Work is expected to be finished by September 2022.
Raccoon Valley Road Construction
This proposed $3.7 million project includes superstructure painting, overlay, deck joint and bearing replacement, and concrete and steel repairs of the bridge carrying Route 17 (Raccoon Valley Road) over the Juniata River in Millersburg Borough. It includes paving and guide rail upgrades in both Tuscarora Township and the borough from the intersection of Sugar Run Road to Locust Alley.
Work is scheduled to be completed in November 2022.
Of the dozen projects either underway or about to begin in York County, here are some of the most impactful.
Interstate 83/Route 581 Diverging Diamond Interchange
This $29.9 million project includes the replacement of the northbound and southbound bridges carrying I-83 over Route 851 with two-span structures that will allow enough clearance for Route 851 to be widened to four lanes and realigned into a diverging diamond interchange.
The project will also lengthen and reconstruct the on and off ramps within the interchange and replace the culvert that carries Deer Creek beneath the interchange.
The project is set to be finished by the end of August.
North George Street Improvements, Manchester Twp.
This $12.3 million project consists of safety improvements and resurfacing at the I-83 Exit 22 Interchange with Route 181 (North George Street). It includes the relocation of the northbound on-ramp and widening and intersection improvements along Route 181.
The project will also include three box culverts, sound wall construction, traffic signals, drainage, signage, stream relocation, highway lighting, ITS, landscaping, and other miscellaneous construction on North George Street in Manchester Township.
It is expected to be finished by October 2022.
Market Street Bridge Replacement
This $6.4 million project will replace the bridge carrying Route 462 over Mill Creek in Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships. It includes approach work, guide rail updates, drainage work, ramp realignment, and signal upgrades.
The project is expected to be finished by next June.
Hellam St. Resurfacing, Wrightsville
This $3.2 million project affects a 2.35-mile stretch of Route 462 between Wrightsville and Hellam Township. It consists of milling, resurfacing, base repair, ADA ramps, guide rail updates, signing and pavement markings, and drainage replacement.
The affected roadway lies from the Veterans Memorial Bridge to just east of Cool Creek Road.
Also included are Cool Creek Road from Mount Pisgah Road to Hellam Street and Route 624 from Front Street to the split of Hellam Street.
The work is scheduled to be finished by Sept. 7.