Commentary

These central Pa. roads, bridges benefiting from infrastructure cash | Thursday Morning Coffee

Get ready for a busy spring road construction season, central Pa.

March 31, 2022 7:17 am
The Wolf administration touts its effort to repave part of the roadway at Ridley Creek State Park in suburban Philadelphia with a mix of asphalt and recycled plastic (Commonwealth of Pa. photo, 10/13/21).

The Wolf administration touts its effort to repave part of the roadway at Ridley Creek State Park in suburban Philadelphia with a mix of asphalt and recycled plastic (Commonwealth of Pa. photo, 10/13/21).

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Well, it’s almost that time of year, Pennsylvania. And I’m not talking about the first pitch of the 2022 Major League Baseball season or the first of many junior and senior prom photos.

Nope, I’m talking about another rite of the return of warmer weather: Sitting in traffic while crews from the state Department of Transportation rebuild and repave miles and miles of Pennsylvania’s kidney-rattling highways and byways.

And thanks to the new bipartisan infrastructure law, a geyser of federal cash is headed for the Keystone State.

On Wednesday, the Wolf administration touted the 133 road construction projects that will either start or continue in the eight-county south central Pennsylvania region that are getting a leg up from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law.

The money “is making an immediate impact on Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges by accelerating infrastructure projects throughout the commonwealth,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement his office released on Wednesday.

South-central Pennsylvania is in line for an estimated $297 million worth of federal assistance, the administration said. These projects, which are set to start, continue, or go out to bid are “vital to ensuring the people who live and work in Pennsylvania have safe, modern and efficient transportation network,” Wolf said.

Below, a look at some of the projects that are in the pipeline, and the counties that will receive a shot in the arm because of the federal money.

PennDOT paving crews (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania photo).
PennDOT paving crews (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania photo).

Road projects that will continue this year include:

  • “I-81 resurfacing/highway preservation project in Southampton, Shippensburg, South Newton, and Penn townships, Cumberland County, $26.5 million;
  • “Route 15 resurfacing and safety improvement project Franklin and Carroll townships, York County, and Huntington and Latimore townships, Adams County, $19.4 million;
  • “Route 22 resurfacing from Elmerton Avenue (Route 3026) in the City of Harrisburg to Route 225 in Dauphin Borough, Dauphin County, $13.5 million;
  • “Route 181 (N. George Street) safety improvements and resurfacing at the I-83 Exit 22 Interchange in Manchester Township, York County, $12.4 million;
  • “Route 22 dual single-span structure replacements at Route 34 in Howe Township, Perry County, $11.2 million;
  • “Route 22 (William Penn Hwy) resurfacing project in Greenwood, Howe, Buffalo, and Watts townships from Owl Hollow Road eastbound to Perry/Dauphin County Line and from Owl Hollow Road westbound to west of the Newport Road Interchange, $9.7 million;
  • “Route 462 (Market Street) bridge replacement project in Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships, York County, $6.4 million;
  • “Route 222 resurfacing project from the Mohler Church Road overpass in Ephrata Township to the Pool Road overpass in West Earl Township, Lancaster County, $6.3 million;
  • “I-78/I-81 pavement preservation project in Lebanon and Dauphin counties, $5.5 million; and
  • “Route 1006 (Main Street) resurfacing in the Village of Scotland, Greene Township, Franklin County, $5 million,” the administration said.
PennDOT paving crews (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania photo)
PennDOT paving crews (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania photo)

Projects that have begun, or will begin, this year include:

  • “Centerville Road interchange improvement project in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, $19.7 million;
  • “Centerville Road Widening Project from Route 23 (Marietta Avenue) to Route 462 (Columbia Avenue) in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, $13.3 million;
  • “I-81 resurfacing from Route 581 to the George N. Wade Memorial Bridge in Hampden and East Pennsboro townships, $12.8 million;
  • “Route 22 and I-81 bridge preservations in the City of Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, $9.8 million.
  • “Laudermilch Road bridge replacement project in Derry Township, Dauphin County, $3.9 million;
  • “Black Gap Road resurfacing project in Greene Township, Franklin County, $3.8 million;
  • “Church Street resurfacing and box culvert project in East and West Hempfield townships Lancaster County, $3.6 million;
  • “Lime Street resurfacing project in the City of Lancaster, Lancaster County, $3 million,” the administration said.

With all that work going on, “we ask everyone who travels on our highways to make safety their number one priority. Safe driving will help keep both our workers safe and motorists safe,” acting PennDOT District 8 Executive Christopher Kufro said in a statement.

(Getty Images)

Our Stuff.
For Transgender Day of VisibilityCassie Miller highlights the efforts of two Pennsylvania-based LGBTQ centers that are putting in the work to eliminate discrimination and support transgender and non-binary individuals through resources and programming.

With the start of a new, two-year legislative session seemingly around the corner, good government advocates are getting a head start on advocating for more transparent operating rules for the state House and Senate. Stephen Caruso has the story.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly voted Wednesday to authorize a six-month extension of Gov. Tom Wolf’s disaster declaration for Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge, which collapsed in late January, Marley Parish reports.

For 10 years, a unique diversion effort in Philadelphia, The Choice is Yours, has offered first-time drug offenders, ages 18-30, an alternative to going before a judge, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases could curb colleges’ use of affirmative action, freelance journalist Allison Winters reports from Washington.

Redrawn districts are prompting primary battles in at least five Lehigh Valley state House and Senate seats, Correspondent Katherine Reinhard reports.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, she said Wednesday, becoming the first Republican to pledge her support for President Joe Biden’s pick to replace retiring Associate Justice Stephen BreyerCapital-Star Washington Reporter Jacob Fischler has the details.

Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two white men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crimeCapital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa reports.

Three of the four Democratic hopefuls looking to succeed retiring state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphiafaced the votes during a recent public forum, taking questions on such issues as how they’d win passage of a long-delayed LGBTQ civil rights bill and making Pennsylvania’s largest city more attractive to business. Our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News have what you need to know.

On our Commentary Page this morning: Who you calling an Originalist? The Founders couldn’t even agree on what the Constitution meantHugh Jackson, of our sibling site, the Nevada Current, writes. And President Joe Biden’s toughest choices on Ukraine and Russia still lie ahead of him, opinion regular Fletcher McClellan writes.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw photographed in her office on Wednesday. ( Philadelphia Tribune photo by Abdul R. Sulayman)

Elsewhere.
The Inquirer explains why the pandemic took a particularly deadly toll on Mifflin County, Pa.

Proposals now before Allegheny County Council would seek more information over county budgets, the Post-Gazette reports.

PennLive’s John Baer weighs in on the Republicans-only debate that the leading GOP candidates for governors say they want this primary season.

Two top Republicans from Lancaster County have drawn primary challengers this primary season, LancasterOnline reports.

GOP governor candidate Lou Barletta is focusing on energyUSA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau reports (via the York Daily Record).

Allentown City Councilmember Ce-Ce Gerlach has been admitted to a first-time offender program in her child endangerment case, the Morning Call reports.

Police in Nanticoke, Luzerne County, are donating body armor to the Ukraine war effort, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says her department can’t keep up with the city’s rising homicide rateWHYY-FM reports.

Private funding helped pay for elections in some Pennsylvania counties. Now, some Republican-led states are moving to ban it, NPR reports (via WITF-FM).

GoErie profiles a newly arrived Afghan immigrant who’s making their home in Erie County.

Republicans in the state House have renewed their push to keep the state from joining a regional greenhouse gas compact, City & State Pa. reports.

Some of the top Republicans in the U.S. Senate race faced off in Erie on WednesdayPoliticsPA reports.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are taking aim at a ‘constellation’ of privacy rightsTalking Points Memo reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
10 a.m., virtual via www.pahouse.com/plbc/LeadershipAwards2022 and www.facebook.com/palegislativeblackcaucus: Crystal Bird Faucet Leadership Awards honoring House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, former Department of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman, and Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. Kristal Turner-Childs
6 p.m., Capitol Steps: Transgender Day of Visibility rally

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s one that popped up as I was putting this column together. Something about it just fit the vibe on an unseasonably cold late March day. It’s ‘Sometime Around Midnight‘ by The Airborne Toxic Event.

Thursday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid notched his 100th point of the season as the Oilers downed the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on Wednesday. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl also scored his 49th goal in the shoot-out win.

And now you’re up to date.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

MORE FROM AUTHOR