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HomePA Route 23 EIS

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Press Release

PENNDOT To Hold Two Public Meetings for
Route 23 Environmental Impact Study

-- Both open house meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Tuesday, April 18th and Wednesday, April 19th at the Worship Center. --

HARRISBURG, PA (April 14) – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in partnership with the County of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will hold two open house public meetings for the PA Route 23 Environmental Impact Study on Tuesday, April 18th, and Wednesday, April 19th. “We want to reach as many people as we can,” said Barry Hoffman, PENNDOT District Executive for south central Pennsylvania. “We’re going to hold the same public meeting on two separate evenings so that we can make it more convenient for people to attend.”

The public meetings will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Worship Center at 2384 New Holland Pike in Upper Leacock Township. Each meeting will follow an open house format, allowing people to attend at their convenience during the meeting times. A video presentation will run repeatedly throughout the evening and provide an overview of the Route 23 Environmental Impact Study. Representatives of PENNDOT and the study team will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the different displays that illustrate the current status of the study and refinements to the alternatives under consideration to improve the Route 23 corridor in northeastern Lancaster County. The information, materials, mapping and handouts presented at each meeting will be the same. Those attending the meeting will also receive a booklet with map illustrations and key information on each of the alternatives developed in this study.

This is the third public meeting conducted for the PA Route 23 Environmental Impact Study that is examining transportation solutions and land use strategies along the Route 23 corridor between Route 30 and Route 322. Facing a substantial funding shortfall across the Commonwealth, PennDOT announced in March 2004 that the Route 23 project was one of 12 large projects statewide to be re-evaluated. The study team was challenged by State Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler, in light of the long-term financial limitations facing PennDOT in the coming years, to take a fresh look at possible transportation solutions in the corridor, with the goal of reducing construction costs and minimizing environmental impacts.

In May 2005, PennDOT Secretary Biehler, joined by Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff and the Lancaster County Commissioners, announced the re-initiation of the PA Route 23 Environmental Impact Study. Since then, the study team has evaluated ways to reduce construction costs and environmental impacts while still meeting the long-term transportation needs and maintaining the quality of life to the greatest extent possible. PennDOT calls this approach “right-sizing” – achieving a solution by working together that effectively balances the transportation needs and goals of the community with the important economic, cultural, and agricultural resources in the region.

The three alternatives that were developed in greater detail as a result of the previous public meetings include the following:

  • Widening Alternative – Option 1 – This alternative includes adding a center turn lane on Route 23 throughout the study area, and shoulders along most of the Route 23 corridor, except in Leola, New Holland, and Blue Ball. The Transportation System Management (TSM) strategy -- such as adding traffic signals, turning lanes, etc. -- and Transit improvements are also included.
  • Bareville Connector Alternative – This alternative roadway alignment follows the Goat Path in the western section of the study area, connects to Route 23 near Bareville, and follows the Widening Alternative, Option 1 along Route 23 through New Holland. The TSM/Transit improvements are also included.
  • Southern Alternative – This roadway alignment alternative is located south of Route 23 and follows the Goat Path in the western section of the study area and a new alignment south of Bareville and New Holland.

The “right-sizing” approach has produced a new “scaled-back” version of each of the above alternatives for public review and comment. For example, in the Widening Alternative, the original version provides for 12-foot-wide travel lanes and 10-foot-wide shoulders. The revised version calls for 11-foot-wide travel lanes and 8-foot-wide shoulders. For the four-lane Bareville Connector Alternative and the four-lane Southern Alternative, two-lane versions have been developed.

“The success of these meetings depends on the level of public participation we receive,” said Mark Malhenzie, PENNDOT Senior Project Manager. “It is essential that our study team takes this time to inform, educate, and engage the community as a whole. Public input is key to our efforts to develop the best possible and balanced transportation and land use solutions for the PA Route 23 Corridor.”

For more information on the Route 23 study, please visit the study’s website at www.paroute23.com

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