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Will be widened

U.S. 30

November 09, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Bids for the widening of a three-mile stretch of U.S. 30 east of Chambersburg are scheduled for opening in December or January, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Highways said last week.

Work on the project will begin in late winter or early spring, PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said.

It will take 2 1/2 years to complete the three-mile project from Interstate 81 to Valley Road in Guilford Township. The cost is estimated at $29 million, Penny said.

The road is called the most heavily traveled route in Franklin County by local officials. PennDOT traffic studies show about 32,000 vehicles a day, 12 percent of which are trucks, use the road every day.

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Both sides of the road are lined with commercial developments.

The widening of that stretch of U.S. 30, which is also known as Lincoln Highway East, is the most complex project PennDOT has undertaken in Chambersburg, borough officials have said.

Plans call for expanding the road, which is mostly two lanes, to five lanes, including two travel lanes in both directions and the addition of a center passing lane.

It will also involve installing new gas, water and sewer lines and new drainage systems, Penny said. Its new traffic control lighting system will be coordinated with the system in Chambersburg.

"The first year will be taken up with the drainage and utility work," Penny said. The construction of the new lanes and resurfacing will be done in the next year-and-a-half.

The contractor is required to hold a public hearing before the start of construction so business owners and residents can learn about the scope of the project and what inconveniences it will bring about.

"The hearing gives everyone an overview of the project and puts a face to the names of the people building it if problems come up later on," he said.

Penny said the contractor will maintain single lanes of traffic in both directions at all times throughout construction. He said the center lane will be built early into the project.

The cost breakdown includes estimates of $21 million for construction, $2.9 million for engineering, $300,000 for utility work and $4.5 million to buy rights of way, Penny said.

In another PennDOT highway project affecting Chambersburg, Penny said bids are scheduled to be opened Dec. 4 for the new Interstate 81 interchange between Exit 16 (old Exit 6) and Exit 20 (old Exit 8) at Walker Road. It will be called Exit 17.

Construction of that project, pegged at $12 million, could begin in the spring. The work also includes some rehabilitation of a four-mile stretch of Interstate 81 from U.S. 30 to the Scotland exit, Penny said.

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