January 2021 will be historic for PennDOT's District 9. Cambria County will be preparing for its first roundabout as part of the Geistown Corridor Improvement Project. What began in 2014 as a pavement project has morphed into a corridor project that enhances safety and mobility along Route 3016 in Geistown Borough and Richland and Stonycreek Townships. Other design elements of the 1.75-mile project include a road diet concept along Route 3016, signal upgrades at five intersections, access management, elimination of a structure, addressing drainage concerns and 3,400 feet of sidewalk.
Built in 1951, the original engineers of the Geistown Cloverleaf foresaw a different evolution of the area's community and roadway network. Today's configuration consists of a partial cloverleaf interchange connecting Route 3016 to Route 756 and a divided, four-lane Route 3016 within a neighborhood and business setting. The arterial provides connectivity between the City of Johnstown, it's western suburbs and US 219.
When District 9 solicited engineering services for the project, the scope was left open-ended and expectations were to eliminate the existing median curb with approximately 2,000 feet of paving. To the district's surprise, almost all firms suggested an alternatives analysis phase with conceptual designs including a roundabout, SPUI, realignments and an at-grade intersection.
In June of 2016, the District introduced four alternative designs to the community at business workshops and a public meeting: (1) the existing configuration (2) local improvements (3) at-grade signalized intersection (4) roundabout. Public consensus was to proceed with the roundabout alternative as it simplified traffic movements, created a cohesive community feel, increased mobility and safety and supported multimodal initiatives.
The local municipality has been supportive of the project throughout the design process.
"The Geistown Roundabout project is an amazing example of local, state, public, and private stakeholders coming together to redefine a major transportation intersection in our region and change the face of our municipality for decades to come," said Matt Sernell, former Gesitown Council President. "PennDOT's work and willingness to ensure all parties are involved has become a key factor in the project's success to date."
Slated as a two-year project, construction will begin in April 2021 and the roundabout is expected to be open to traffic in November 2021. Paving, sidewalks, drainage and traffic signals will be constructed in the second season. An animation of the final condition can be found in the video below.
Click this link for a video that outlines how to successfully navigate Pennsylvania's roundabouts.