Cost of U.S. 30 project rises to $29 million

September 23, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

Twelve years ago, when planning for the widening of a three-mile stretch of U.S. 30 east of Chambersburg began, the cost of construction was estimated at $6.4 million.

Bids for the project are scheduled to go out this winter, but inflation over the last dozen years has boosted the estimated construction cost to $22 million.

Jeffrey P. Weaver, assistant district engineer for PennDOT's District 8, told about 60 people gathered for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce's 2002 Legislative Forum on transportation in Franklin County on Friday that the total cost to widen the road is estimated at $29 million.


Added to the $22 million in estimated construction costs are $2.9 million for engineering, $290,000 to move utilities and $3.6 million to acquire rights of way.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be completed in October 2004.

Weaver said more than 32,000 vehicles pass over that stretch of U.S. 30 every day. About 12 percent are big trucks, he said.

The two existing lanes are only 11 feet wide and the shoulders are in poor condition.

The project calls for widening the road to five lanes, including a center turn lane. A new network of traffic control signals will be installed that will coincide with the Borough of Chambersburg's signal system, Weaver said.

The part of the road to be widened begins at U.S. 30's intersection with Interstate 81 and runs east for a little more than three miles.

Traffic flow will be maintained during construction, and a temporary center turn lane will be built early in the project to keep traffic moving. The I-81 ramps will remain open during construction, Weaver said.

PennDOT is also beginning the planning stages to widen 77 miles of I-81 from the Maryland state line to Interstate 78 in Lebanon County to six lanes, Weaver said.

PennDOT's District 8 includes Franklin, Adams, Cumberland, Perry, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster and York counties. With 5,339 road miles, it is a larger highway network than that in the entire state of Maryland, Weaver said. It has 3,493 state bridges and 1,130 department employees.

Franklin County has 618 state highway miles, 332 state bridges and 90 PennDOT employees.

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