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Pennsylvania Route 97 (Adams County)

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This article describes Pennsylvania Route 97 in Adams County. For the same-numbered route in Erie County, see Pennsylvania Route 97 (Erie County).

PA Route 97 marker

PA Route 97
Pennsylvania Route 97 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length: 9.363 mi[1] (15.068 km)
Existed: 1979 – present
Major junctions
South end: MD 97 near Littlestown
  PA 194 in Littlestown
North end: US 15 near Gettysburg
Location
Counties: Adams
Highway system
PA 96 PA 98

Pennsylvania Route 97 (PA 97) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Known for most of its length as Baltimore Pike, the highway runs 9.363 miles (15.068 km) from the Maryland state line near Littlestown, where the highway continues as Maryland Route 97 (MD 97), northwest to U.S. Route 15 (US 15) near Gettysburg. PA 97 connects Gettysburg and Littlestown in southeastern Adams County. The highway also links those communities with Westminster and Baltimore. From PA 97's northern end, Baltimore Pike continues toward Gettysburg through the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District, where it provides access to the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center.

Baltimore Pike was built as a turnpike in the early 19th century to connect Gettysburg, Littlestown, and Baltimore. The turnpike was a prominent linear feature during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg despite not being the focus of a particular skirmish. Baltimore Pike was designated one of the original legislative routes in the early 1910s and became the northernmost part of US 140 in the late 1920s. The U.S. Highway was widened and resurfaced in the 1940s. When the US 140 designation was retired in the late 1970s, the highway became PA 97 to match the adjacent Maryland highway. PA 97's northern end was moved from Gettysburg to its present location at US 15 in the late 1980s.

Route description[edit]

PA 97 begins at the Maryland state line in Germany Township. The highway continues south as MD 97 (Littlestown Pike) toward Westminster. PA 97 heads northwest along two-lane Baltimore Pike. The highway crosses Piney Creek and enters the borough of Littlestown, through which the highway follows Queen Street. PA 97 intersects PA 194 (King Street) in the center of town. The state highway becomes Baltimore Pike again on leaving Littlestown and re-entering Germany Township. PA 97 crosses Alloway Creek into Mount Joy Township. The highway crosses Plum Creek east of the hamlet of Germantown and Littles Run within Two Taverns. PA 97 widens to a four-lane divided highway at its crossing of Plum Run just south of Lake Heritage, which is also the name of the surrounding residential development. The state highway reaches its northern terminus at its diamond interchange with US 15. Baltimore Pike continues northwest through the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District toward the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, Evergreen Cemetery, several units of Gettysburg National Military Park, and the borough of Gettysburg.[1][2]

History[edit]

The Gettysburg and Petersburg Turnpike Company was chartered in March 1807 to construct an artificial road from Gettysburg through Petersburg (now Littlestown) to the Maryland state line along the stagecoach route between Baltimore and Chambersburg.[3][4] Baltimore Pike, as it was known colloquially, was a prominent linear feature during the Battle of Gettysburg as it lay along the side of Cemetery Hill and to the west of Culp's Hill. Cemetery Hill served as the tip of the Union forces' "fishhook" defensive formation throughout the three-day battle. Baltimore Pike ran parallel to the Union defensive lines during the Battle of East Cemetery Hill, a Confederate offensive against Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill that started late on July 2 and finished early on July 3, 1863.[5] During and in the time after the battle, the turnpike was lined with several field hospitals, many of which were created in the homes and on the land of civilians such as Henry Spangler.[6]

In May 1911, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Sproul Roads Act, which created the Pennsylvania state road system and allowed the state to take over turnpikes.[7][8] Baltimore Pike was designated Legislative Route 42 from the Maryland state line northwest to the borough of Gettysburg.[7][9] The Sproul Roads Act was challenged as being unconstitutional, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the legislation on June 27, 1913. The state took over the Gettysburg and Petersburg Turnpike and abolished tolls the next day, just in time for the March to Gettysburg ahead of the 1913 Gettysburg reunion.[8] Baltimore Pike was improved as a macadam road from the state line to Gettysburg by 1916.[10] The highway from the state line to US 15 at the intersection of Baltimore Street and Steinwehr Avenue (then Emmitsburg Road) was designated the northernmost part of US 140 in 1927.[11][12]

US 140 was widened and resurfaced with concrete from Gettysburg to Littlestown between 1941 and 1943.[13][14][15] The remainder of the highway through Littlestown to the Maryland state line was widened and resurfaced with asphalt between 1943 and 1953.[13][16] US 140's interchange with modern US 15 was completed when the then–two-lane US 15 bypass opened in June 1963, immediately before the centennial of the Battle of Gettysburg.[17][18] When the US 140 designation was retired in 1979, it was replaced by MD 140 from Baltimore to Westminster, and Maryland and Pennsylvania coordinated to have matching routes 97 on both sides of the state line between Westminster and Gettysburg.[19][20] The northern end of PA 97 was moved from Gettysburg to the US 15 interchange by 1989; Baltimore Pike from the bypass to US 15 Business became State Route 2035.[21][22] PA 97 and the adjacent portion of Baltimore Pike were widened through the US 15 interchange in 2000.[23][24]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Adams County.

Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Germany Township 0.000 0.000 MD 97 south (Littlestown Pike) – Baltimore Southern terminus; Maryland state line
Littlestown 2.109 3.394 PA 194 (King Street) – Hanover, Frederick
Mount Joy Township 9.363 15.068 US 15 / Baltimore Pike north – Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Frederick Northern terminus; diamond interchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

Route map: Bing

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bureau of Maintenance and Operations (January 2015). Roadway Management System Straight Line Diagrams (Report) (2015 ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ Adams County, Pennsylvania Highway Map (PDF) (Map). 1:65000. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  3. ^ Staff (October 13, 1931). "History of Adams County". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Herbert L. Grimm). p. 4. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  4. ^ Staff (September 16, 1807). "The Line of Stages". The Centinal (Gettysburg, PA: Robert Harper). p. 127. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  5. ^ Pfanz, Harry W.; Hartwig, Scott (1994). National Park Civil War Series: The Battle of Gettysburg. Fort Washington, PA: Eastern National. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  6. ^ "Death on Baltimore Pike". Civil War Trust. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  7. ^ a b Staff (June 1, 1911). "Seven Roads to Gettysburg". New Oxford Item (New Oxford, PA: H.I. Smith). p. 5. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  8. ^ a b Staff (July 2, 1913). "Toll Free to Gettysburg". Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, PA: William Arch McClean). p. 1. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  9. ^ Map of Pennsylvania Showing State Highways as Adopted Under the Sproul Road Bill (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1911. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  10. ^ Map of the Public Roads of Adams County, Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65000. Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1916. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  11. ^ Maryland Geological Survey (1927). Map of Maryland: Showing State Road System and State Aid Roads (Map). Baltimore: Maryland Geological Survey. 
  12. ^ Tourist Map of Pennsylvania Showing the State Highway System and Main Connecting Roads (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1930. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  13. ^ a b Staff (January 2, 1943). "Motor Club Recommends Extension Of Highway To Maryland Boundary". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Gettysburg Times Publishing). p. 3. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  14. ^ General Highway Map Adams County, Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65000. Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1941. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  15. ^ Staff (2012). "NBI Structure Number: 000000000000087". National Bridge Inventory. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  16. ^ General Highway Map Adams County, Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65000. Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1953. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  17. ^ Staff (May 29, 1962). "Says 2 Lanes of 15 Bypass to Be Ready by July 1, 1963". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Gettysburg Times Publishing). pp. 1, 3. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  18. ^ Staff (June 28, 1963). "Route 15 Bypass Opens Today at 4". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Gettysburg Times Publishing). p. 1. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  19. ^ Maryland State Highway Administration (1979). Maryland: Official Highway Map (Map) (1979–80 ed.). Baltimore: Maryland State Highway Administration. 
  20. ^ Staff (June 14, 1977). "Route 140 May Change to Route 97". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Gettysburg Times Publishing). pp. 1, 5. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1989. Gettysburg inset. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  22. ^ General Highway Map Adams County, Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65000. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1991. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  23. ^ Staff (2012). "NBI Structure Number: 000000000040971". National Bridge Inventory. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  24. ^ Staff (December 30, 2000). "2000: Tower Toppling Rises Above List of the Year's Top Stories". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Gettysburg Times Publishing). p. A12. Retrieved 2014-01-10.