There's a lot of orange along Mount Rose Avenue and the adjoining East Prospect Road in Springettsbury and Windsor townships these days.
Orange construction cones and signs line parts of the heavily-traveled road as part of two on-going improvement projects.
The two projects - one for road widening and the other to realign a curve - are just the start of a series of projects that will take until 2017 to complete.
Mount Rose is being widened between Haines and Cambridge roads in Springettsbury Township to allow for two lanes in both directions and a center turn lane, said Greg Penny, a state Department of Transportation spokesman.
The project started at the end of April and is to be finished in the spring. Motorists may encounter shifting traffic patterns and restrictions until then, Penny said.
Land lost: As part of the project, some land on both sides of the road had to be obtained from landowners.
Matt Bupp, who lives along Mount Rose, said about half an acre of the front of his property is marked to be taken for the project.
"I'm losing half my front yard," Bupp said. "They're taking 600 feet off my property."
Bupp's home sits on a hill on the south side of Mount Rose, and construction crews will have to cut into a large embankment to make way for the additional lane.
The problem is, Bupp said the leach field for his septic system is in the area of where crews intend to dig. That, he added, could lead to a major mess.
Bupp said he has a meeting scheduled with PennDOT, the township and elected officials to discuss his issues.
Bupp also had plans to develop his land, which is zoned high density residential, but with some of his land to be lost and the wider road, he said he doesn't see the plans coming to fruition anytime soon.
"The reality is I don't know who would buy this property from me as a single family home," he said.
Across the street: Some properties that abut the north side of Mount Rose Avenue will also be affected by the project.
Edna Miller, who lives in the 2500 block of Eastwood Drive, will lose about a third of her backyard.
A fence that separates her property from the road and a tree that's at least 50 years old will have to go.
The prospect of the road being closer to her home leaves Miller a bit nervous. One car has previously nearly crashed into her backyard but was stopped by an embankment; a second car made it over the embankment and into her yard.
"The one car went through the fence," she said.
While she's not happy about the widening project, Miller said there's nothing she can do about it.
"If they would put a sound barrier up and I couldn't see the traffic, that would be another thing," she said.
Miller said she's heard of no plans to put up a sound barrier, but a small wall that will separate the road from her property is to be built.
Curve: The curve realignment project closed a section of East Prospect Road, which becomes Mount Rose Avenue when it crosses into Springettsbury Township, at the end of March. The road is expected to remain closed until the end of July, and the project will be fully finished in November, Penny said.
"The realignment to "soften" the curve though this area will make it safer for motorists traveling on it.," he said.
The road is closed between Miller Drive and Christensen Road, and a detour has been set up he said.
Despite the "road closed ahead" and "detour" signs, some drivers venture down to where the road is closed and have to turn around.
Many times that means turning around on the narrow Miller Drive, which ends in a cul-de-sac, said Terry Smith, who lives on Miller Drive.
When the road was closed in March, Smith and his wife, Jean Smith, said they'd see everything from cars to tractor-trailers turning around in the cul-de-sac.
But as people got used to the closure, the wayward drivers have become less frequent, they said.
"I think it's usually people who do not live in the area," he said.
About the projects: ** The realignment project on East Prospect Road between Miller Drive and Christensen Road in Windsor Township will cost $1.2 million.
That cost also includes replacing a pipe that carries a tributary to Kreutz Creek under the road.
With a section of the road closed, two detours have been set up. One takes motorists on Route 24, Lombard Road and Mount Pisgah Road, while a truck detour takes truckers on Route 24, Route 30, Cool Springs Road, Cool Creek Road and Mount Pisgah Road.
The road is expected to reopen at the end of July, and the project will be finished in November, but the contractor, J.D. Eckman Inc. of Atglen, expects to finish earlier.
** Work on the $1.8 million Mount Rose Avenue widening project started in April and is expected to be complete in the spring.
Apart from making the road two lanes in both directions with a center turn lane, the project also includes drainage improvements, curb and sidewalk installation, resurfacing and new traffic lines.
During construction, motorists may encounter shifting traffic patterns and single-lane restrictions.
Source: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.