Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project

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Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT (when constructed)
Component
highways:
US 15 from Shamokin Dam to Union Township
PA 61 in Shamokin Dam
PA 147 from Shamokin Dam to West Chillisquaque Township
Major junctions
South end: US 11 / US 15 / US 522 in Shamokin Dam
  PA 61 / PA 147 in Shamokin Dam
US 15 in Union Township
North end: PA 147 in West Chillisquaque Township
Highway system

The Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, also known as the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway and often abbreviated CSVT, is a planned highway bypass along the U.S. Route 15 corridor near Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania. It has been designated as part of Corridor P-1 of the Appalachian Development Highway System by the Appalachian Regional Commission.[1] If constructed it would carry U.S. 15 and PA 147 over varying stretches of its length, and would involve constructing a new bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and 12.4 miles of new roadway.[2] The first phase of the project, the bridge, is expected to go to bid in August 2015.[3]

History[edit]

Near Selinsgrove, PA, U.S. 11/15 are routed along a freeway-grade bypass. However, just north of the town, at Shamokin Dam, the freeway ends at a partially abandoned interchange with U.S. 522. Here, U.S. 11/15 transfers to surface streets. A bypass around the community was originally planned, but the idea was abandoned in 1978 when funding ran out.[4]

Previously, completion of the bypass had been considered as part of a proposal to extend Interstate 83 from its current terminus at Interstate 81 just north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Interstate 86/NY 17 in Corning, New York, but with the establishment of U.S. 15 north of Williamsport, Pennsylvania as part of the future Interstate 99 corridor, this concept was dropped.[5] Without additional reconstruction of U.S. 22/322 and U.S. 11/15 south of Selinsgrove, the farthest I-83 could currently be extended would be just across the Clarks Ferry Bridge (which currently carries U.S. 22/322 across the Susquehanna River) to an at-grade intersection with PA 849 near Duncannon.

Revival[edit]

In the mid-2000s, interest in the bypass has been revived as part of a plan for a continuous highway from the Harrisburg area, north to Williamsport. Part of this may be due to the late 2000s emergence of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale in the northern tier of the state. Due to the natural gas boom and increased logistical demands associated with it, Mark Murawski of the Route 15 Coalition estimates that traffic will triple along the route.[6]

Funding[edit]

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is reported to have promised $51 million for the project, but his term in office expired before any of the money was allocated. On April 3, 2013, PennDOT announced that the state would commit to allocate $558 million for the project over the following 10 years, pending approval by the General Assembly.[2]

The project was included in the proposed $1.8 billion FY 2014 Pennsylvania transportation budget, however, that budget was not approved, creating further uncertainty for the project.[7] A $2.3 billion budget was later passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Tom Corbett, granting over $500 million for the Thruway, as well as funding other major transportation projects in the state.[8][9]

Construction[edit]

The project is expected to take nine years to construct, with a target completion date of 2024. The first contract, for the bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, is expected to be awarded in August 2015.[3]

Route description[edit]

The bypass would start at the partially abandoned interchange with U.S. 522, where U.S. 11/15 currently leaves the expressway. A new freeway carrying U.S. 15 would be built around the western side of the community. The current section of U.S. 11/15 would still carry U.S. 11, but also U.S. 15 Business.[10] A spur would carry re-routed PA 147 and PA 61 to the main bypass via a trumpet interchange; PA 147 would continue north with U.S. 15 as PA 61 would terminate at the interchange.

U.S. 15 and PA 147 would continue north concurrently, eventually crossing over the existing stretch of U.S. 15 several miles south of Winfield, in Union Township, Union County. At this point, U.S. 15 would exit the bypass, resuming its current alignment while PA 147 would continue and cross the West Branch of the Susquehanna River over a new bridge into Northumberland County. PA 147 would then merge back to its current alignment at the southern end of the current divided highway segment, creating a continuous stretch of limited-access highway between Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania and Corning, New York using U.S. 11, 15, and 220; PA 147; as well as Interstate 180 and the future Interstate 99 segment.

As part of this plan, the current PA 147 alignment south of the proposed bypass would be reassigned as a southern extension of PA 405, and the current alignment of U.S. 11/15 through Shamokin Dam would be designated as U.S. 15 Business, while U.S. 11 would retain its present designation and route.[10]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
Snyder Shamokin Dam 0.00 0.00
US 522 / US 11 / US 15 / US 15 Bus.
Southern terminus of project, freeway continues from previously constructed Selinsgrove bypass; Southern terminus of U.S. 15 Business; Northern end of U.S. 11/15 concurrency
PA 61 / PA 147 Northern terminus of PA 61; Southern end of U.S. 15/PA 147 concurrency
Union Union Township
US 15 / US 15 Bus.
Northern end of U.S. 15/PA 147 concurrency; Northern terminus of U.S. 15 Business
Northumberland West Chillisquaque Township PA 147 / PA 405 Northern terminus of project, newly constructed freeway merges with previously constructed stretch of freeway on PA 147; Interchange with PA 405 (old PA 147 alignment)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project Homepage". csvt.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Wislock, Ashley (April 3, 2013). "Governor: State can fund Snyder County bypass project". The Daily Item. Sunbury, PA. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Beauge, John (September 11, 2014). "Upstate Route 11/15 Project to be Economic 'Game Changer,' Economist Says". pennlive.com. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ Carney, Christopher P. (July 17, 2007). "Oberstar: I Am Very Optimistic About This Project". Office of Christopher P. Carney, 10th Legislative District. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Aaroads - Corridor 9
  6. ^ Pursell, Tricia (July 29, 2011). "Shale Boom Compels Thruway". The Daily Item. Sunbury, PA. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Wheary, Rob (July 7, 2013). "Without Funding, Thruway is 'in limbo'". The News-Item. Shamokin, PA. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Wheary, Rob (November 20, 2013). "[State Representatives] Culver, Masser pleased with House approval of transportation plan". The Daily Item. Sunbury, PA. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Governor Signs Transportation Bill That Promises to Build Local Bypass". The Daily Item. Sunbury, PA. November 25, 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project - Proposed Roadway Designations". csvt.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013.