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HomePA Route 23 EIS

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Press Release

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 Connector
  • 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 alternatives.

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.

 

 
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