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Travel Delays Expected as Work Continues on I-99 Barrier Installation

by on April 19, 2019 2:15 PM

A longterm closure will be in place starting Monday for the left lane of I-99 southbound between the Bellefonte and Penn State exits, according to PennDOT.

The traffic pattern change is for the installation of a cable median barrier and the closure will be lifted at noon on Fridays on a weekly basis as work progresses. Short-term closures also will be in place during daylight hours on the northbound lanes and shoulders between State College and Bellefonte.

Drivers should expect travel delays and be alert for slow-moving and stopped vehicles in the work zone.

The work is part of an overall project to install cable median barriers on several roads in four counties. According to PennDOT, the barriers will "enhance safety for motorists and reduce the potential for head-on collisions on high-volume traffic routes."

On I-99, the barriers eventually will be installed from Bellefonte to Port Matilda. In Centre County, the project also includes U.S. Route 322 between the Park Avenue exit and Boalsburg.

Cable barriers have become increasingly popular safety measures over the past three decades because of their effectiveness at capturing vehicles and because they pose less risk of damage and injury than concrete or steel barriers.

Other roads that will have a cable median barrier installed as part of the $3.3 million project include:

• Route 220 in Clinton County between Castanea and Jersey Shore;

• Route 322 in Mifflin County between the Mifflin/Centre County line and Reedsville;

• Route 22 in Mifflin County between Lewistown and McVeytown;

• Route 22 in Juniata County between Thompsontown and Millerstown.

Work includes excavation of the median, installation of reinforcement bars and pouring concrete for the median barriers. 

New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co., Inc. is the contractor for the project, which is expected to be completed in mid-December.

Detour returning to Potters Mills Gap

Elsewhere in Centre County, a westbound detour will once again be in place as part of the ongoing Potters Mills Gap project on U.S. Route 322.

From Tuesday through Friday, westbound traffic will be detoured onto Route 144 north and Route 45 west before returning to Route 322 at Boalsburg. This detour is needed for drainage work and pavement patching, according to PennDOT. Signage is in place to alert drivers.

On Saturday, April 27, flaggers will be in place on Route 322 to alternate eastbound and westbound traffic between Decker Valley Road and Route 144 during pavement patching and line painting work.

The multi-year Potters Mills Gap project will ultimately alleviate congestion and allow traffic to move more safely and efficiently from the Centre-Mifflin County line to Potters Mills. It includes a reconstructed and widened roadway and a new Route 322/Route 144 intersection that will be a part of the local access road. Work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.

North Atherton Street update

Throughout next week, drivers on North Atherton Street can expect to encounter traffic control consisting of daylight lane closures limiting traffic to at least one lane in each direction between Cherry Lane and Park Avenue. 

When traffic control is reduced to a single lane heading toward the Penn State near the Park Avenue intersection, left turns will be restricted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. throughout the week to maintain the flow of traffic, according to a PennDOT news release.

Drivers are reminded to use both lanes to merge points, not to block signalized intersections when the signal is red, and that the speed limit throughout the length of the work zone between Aaron Drive and Park Avenue is 25 miles per hour. Pedestrians should only cross the street using the intersections at Aaron Drive, North Hills Place, Blue Course Drive, Hillcrest Avenue and Park Avenue.

Overall work on the multi-year project includes, new drainage improvements, curbing, sidewalks, ADA ramps, traffic signal upgrades, new concrete median and paving, as well as relocation and replacement of numerous utility lines.

Work on this phase is expected to be completed in late fall, with work continuing to Westerly Parkway beginning next year.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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