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Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project made possible by Act 89

October 13, 2017 12:00 AM
By: Larissa Newton

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The Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project is the largest capacity-adding project in the state, and it will close a long-standing gap in the U.S. 15 north-south corridor.

And it was made possible by Act 89 — Pennsylvania's 2013 legislation that promised to invest $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion into transportation by the fifth year of the plan.

"This project will result in significant improvements when it comes to traffic and overall travel along this congested corridor," Governor Wolf said in a press release to mark the project's groundbreaking in 2016. "It also shows how Act 89, the state's comprehensive transportation funding bill, is leveraging new revenue in an efficient and effective way."

Secretary Leslie S. Richards at the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project construction site

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards recently visited the project site to review its progress.

"As supporters have long understood, planning, designing, and building this important improvement is not for the faint of heart or the sprinters. It takes much leg work, stamina, creative thinking, and hard negotiating to deliver such improvements," Richards said. "And of course, the funding – through the bipartisan Act 89 transportation plan and the corridor designation from the federal Appalachian Development program – spelled the difference."

Construction tied to the first of an anticipated seven contracts for the two sections of the 13-mile, four-lane limited access highway started in January 2016. The first contract covers construction of a 4,545-foot long, nearly 200-foot-high bridge spanning the West Branch of the Susquehanna River north of Sunbury.

The bridge is expected to be completed in 2020. Two other contracts for earthwork and smaller bridges along the new corridor are also underway and a fourth contract for paving will be awarded in 2019.

The northern section stretches from the southern end of the existing four-lane limited access highway carrying Route 147 in West Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland County, to U.S. 15 in Union Township, Union County.

Final design of the southern section is underway. It stretches from U.S. 15 in Union Township to the northern end of the Selinsgrove Bypass, Snyder County, and includes a new connector to Route 61 and the Veterans Memorial Bridge across the Susquehanna River.

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