4 years down, 3 to go for construction at I-83 interchange


Mount Rose Avenue roadwork: It's nothing new to Pizza Hut and WingStreet employee Erika Runkle. It's probably not hurting business, she said, but it's pretty annoying.

"It's a pain in the butt for our delivery drivers," said the shift manager of the combination restaurant. "It's been going on for what, how many years?"

The answer's four. Crews originally started in the area in the spring of 2012 with the first in a sequence of projects intended to widen the road and improve Route 124's interchange with Interstate 83. And the light at the end of the tunnel isn't approaching very quickly — the project is slated to continue into 2018.

Work in the area started again last week. The contractor, Cherry Hill Construction, of Jessup, Maryland, began clearing trees from the area and creating temporary stormwater basins, according to a news release from the state Department of Transportation.

Once those are done, which should be within a couple of weeks, crews can begin "major earth-moving activities" as part of the construction of new, wider ramps, one of the major changes coming as part of this $58.3 million project.

At that point, new long-term traffic pattern changes on I-83, Route 124, Camp Betty Washington Road, Haines Road and Green Hill Road will be implemented, according to PennDOT.

Project: The project will include the reconstruction and widening of a 1.3-mile section of I-83, and major changes to the configuration of Exit 18 — the Mount Rose Avenue exit.

The idea is to change the oft-congested area so cars aren't turning left from eastbound Route 124 to I-83 north and from I-83 south to eastbound Route 124, the release states.

Portions of Route 124, Camp Betty Washington Road, Haines Road and Green Hill Road also will see work to widen the roads, according to PennDOT.

Two lanes of traffic in both directions on I-83 should remain open during the day, though motorists traveling in either direction could encounter single-lane restrictions between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. At some point, overnight detours will have to be put in place some nights to remove and replace bridge beams, the release states. Drivers on Route 124 and Camp Betty Washington Road sometimes encounter lane restrictions at night, too.

More than 60,000 vehicles per day travel on this section of the highway, according to PennDOT.

The project will include the construction of four new bridges, replacement and widening of three existing bridges, widening of three existing box culverts, construction of one new box culvert and the erection of two new sound walls, according to the news release.

It'll also include new traffic signals at six intersections with adaptive traffic signal control, updated drainage and guiderail, signing and pavement markings and new highway lighting, the release states.

— Reach Sean Philip Cotter at scotter@yorkdispatch.com.