Will Mount Rose construction resume? No one seems to know

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Construction progress is crawling along on the Mount Rose Avenue, Interstate 83 junction, Wednesday, February 26, 2020. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

It was unclear Tuesday if work would restart at the Mount Rose Avenue project on Interstate 83 after state Department of Transportation officials said some projects would resume — but declined to say which ones. 

On Tuesday, PennDOT announced that work would resume at 61 "emergency and critical highway and bridge projects" less than two weeks after Gov. Tom Wolf halted all work amid growing concerns about the coronavirus.

When asked whether specific projects in York County would be included among the 61, PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell said those details weren't yet available.

"Details are in progress," she said. "Types of work that is continuing includes repairs related to emergencies, drainage, eliminating roadway restrictions so goods and services can pass through."

More:Laid off workers battle outages, jammed phone lines as Pa. unemployment system buckles from coronavirus surge

More:COVID-19 cases in Pa. climb by more than 750, deaths up by 14

The Mount Rose Avenue rebuild is one of two major ongoing roadwork projects in York County, both on I-83. The second is the diverging diamond interchange project, which is expected to relieve congestion at Exit 4 and improve safety.

Those projects were forced to come to a halt under Wolf's orders, but it was unclear  Tuesday whether they qualify as "emergency" projects.

The announcement marks just one of many measures the Wolf administration has made in the past month amid the coronavirus outbreak, including an order to shutter all "non-life-sustaining" businesses.

That put a halt to nearly all construction work in the state, with the exception of companies able to acquire a waiver or have their labor deemed as emergency work.

Rachel Wrigley, spokeswoman for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said Tuesday the state has not broken down the waivers it has received by business type.

But the state has approved nearly 5,000 waivers since the program began, she said.

As of Tuesday at noon, confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania approached 5,000, with 66 cases in York County.

There had been 803,000 known cases of the coronavirus worldwide, killing more than 39,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

More than 164,000 cases had been confirmed in the U.S. — the most confirmed cases for any other country in the world — with the death toll exceeding 3,100.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.