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Public input sought on new I-83 interchange at Canal Road

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The York County Planning Commission wants the public's input about a proposal to build a new interchange on Interstate 83 at Canal Road, near the junction of Manchester, East Manchester and Conewago townships.

The planning commission will host a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to collect public comments about how the area surrounding the interchange should be used, whether that means industrial development, housing, recreation, open space or anything else.

Will Clark, transportation planning chief for the planning commission, said this meeting is about asking the public what they want the area to look like when all is said and done.

"Some people might say, 'A for sale sign for my house,' and some people might say, 'A restaurant,'" Clark said. "You know, we really don't know what people will say."

The proposal to build a new interchange is part of the planning commission's I-83 Master Plan, which recommends a full diamond interchange with on-ramps, off-ramps and traffic signals by 2047.

The new interchange would relieve congestion at the Exit 24 interchange at Church Road, Clark said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is seeking approval from the Federal Highway Administration for the project, he said.

The project is estimated to cost $19.7 million, according to the master plan.

Traffic passes under Interstate 83 on Canal Road Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. A proposed interchange is being considered at Canal Road at Interstate 83. Bill Kalina photo

The online-only meeting will be streamed on the Zoom platform and on Facebook, but only those who register to participate in the Zoom meeting will be able to submit public comments, Clark said.

Those who don't have access to Zoom but wish to comment should send an email to planner@ycpc.org or call 717-771-9870.

In addition to the public meeting, the planning commission has an online interactive survey on the topic.

To register for the meeting and/or fill out the survey, visit i83exit26.com.

Truck traffic: Manchester borough isn't one of the three municipalities that converge at the site of the proposed interchange, but the borough will be impacted by the project nonetheless.

"My perspective of this is it will help keep the big tractor-trailers out of the borough and it will improve our safety," said Wade Witt, a Manchester borough councilman and member of the planning commission's interchange committee.

Witt said that unlike the townships, Manchester borough doesn't have room for land development as a result of the new interchange, but the borough would be impacted because of the potential to divert commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers off borough roads.

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