THREE ALTERNATIVES REMAIN IN STUDY TO RELIEVE TRAFFIC
CONGESTION ON ROUTE 23 CORRIDOR
IN NORTHEASTERN LANCASTER COUNTY
-- PennDOT is preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. A public comment
period and formal public hearing is anticipated in summer 2007. --
Harrisburg (December 15) – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
(PennDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in partnership with
Lancaster County, has entered a new stage in the development of a project to
relieve traffic congestion on the Route 23 corridor between Route 30 and Route
322 in northeastern Lancaster County. Of the six “build” alternatives
were developed and shared with the public last spring, four have now been eliminated
from further study and two are being carried forward for more detailed analysis
in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). A “no build” alternative
is also being carried forward for comparison purposes. “The Draft EIS
is an official document,” explained design project manager Mark Malhenzie. “It
is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and is intended
to provide a full and fair discussion of significant environmental impacts.
It is also intended to inform decision makers and the public of the reasonable
alternatives which would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance the quality
of the human environment.” The Draft EIS should be available for public
review in late spring or summer of 2007. A formal public hearing will also
be held at that time to collect public testimony on the study.
On April 18th and 19th, public meetings were held at the Worship Center in
Upper Leacock Township presenting seven alternatives for the Route 23 corridor.
Since then, the PA 23 EIS study team has evaluated each of the seven alternatives,
including transportation benefits, environmental impacts, preliminary construction
cost estimates, and the community opinions of each of these alternatives. Based
on the general findings, the following options will not be carried into detailed
study in the Draft EIS:
- All Widening Alternatives
- All Four-Lane Options
The following alternatives will be fully evaluated in the Draft EIS:
- Two-Lane Bareville Connector Alternative including the Industrial
- Two-Lane Southern Alternative
- No-Build Alternative
The Two-Lane Bareville Connector Alternative consists of one travel lane in
each direction, with posted speed limits ranging from 45 to 55 miles-per-hour.
The road would be limited access between Route 30 and Bareville, with access
points currently provided at Route 30, Greenfield Road, Horseshoe Road, Route
772, and existing Route 23 at Bareville. Within the PennDOT right-of-way of
the existing “Goat Path”, a pedestrian/bicycle trail would be built
as well as a parking facility near Route 772. Between Bareville and Route 322,
existing Route 23 would be widened and existing posted speeds would be maintained.
A two-lane Industrial Connector extending from the Bareville Connector roadway
to Diller Avenue is included in this alternative. The estimated cost for this
alternative is between $66 million and $70 million.
The Two-Lane Southern Alternative, estimated to cost between $61 million and
$65 million, consists of one travel lane in each direction, with posted speed
limits ranging from 35 to 55 miles-per-hour. As with the Bareville Alternative,
a pedestrian/bicycle trail would be built along the Goat Path as well as a
parking facility near Route 772. The Two-Lane Southern Alternative will be
limited access between Route 30 and route 322, and currently includes nine
access points: Route 30, Greenfield Road, Horseshoe Road, Route 772, Diller
Avenue, New Holland Road, Ranck Road, Rancks Church Road, and Route 322. Additionally,
to address public concern regarding residential displacements and impacts to
farmlands, numerous roadway alignment options were evaluated between Kinzer
Avenue and Ranck Road in Earl and East Earl townships. Three alignment options
are being considered with the Southern Alternative south of New Holland:
- The North Option will extend just north of Runway Avenue, south of the
Garden Spot Village community.
- The Middle Option will parallel Kinzer Avenue before swinging to
the east, crossing Airport Road, and connecting to the remainder of the Southern
Alternative near Ranck Road.
- The South Option shares the same alignment as he Middle Option along Kinzer
Avenue, before turning south towards the Millcreek Estates Mobile Home Park,
crossing Airport Road, and paralleling the boundary of Earl and East Earl
townships, before connecting to the remainder of the Southern Alternative.
The No Build Alternative will retain the existing Route 23 roadway and includes
the currently programmed construction projects to upgrade the traffic signal
coordination along the Route 23 corridor and to make intersection improvements
at Glenola Drive and Groffdale Road. Route maintenance will continue, but no
major improvements would be made to the transportation system. The No-Build
Alternative is carried forward as a benchmark for comparison with the build
When the Draft EIS is ready for public review – anticipated in either
late spring or summer of this coming year -- it will be available to the public
at municipal offices and public libraries in the project area. PennDOT will
announce the availability of the Draft EIS and the start of a 45-day public
comment period. The date and location for a formal public hearing to receive
oral and written testimony on the project will also be announced during this
public comment period.
More information on the alternatives being evaluated in the Draft EIS is available
on the study’s website at www.paroute23.com and also in the December
2006 newsletter for the PA Route 23 study that was mailed to subscribers on
December 14th and 15th. A copy of the newsletter is also available on the website.