The Federal Highway Administration will soon review PennDOT’s plans for the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project, according to PennDOT.
Matt Beck, a PennDOT assistant plans engineer, updated members of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee on Friday on where the southern section of the $865 million CSVT project stands. Last month, Beck announced that the state Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Snyder County Conservation District finished their review of the projects and issued approval and permits.
“With permits in hand, we have recently been able to put some finishing touches on plan details that are necessary to satisfy our environmental requirements,” said Beck. “We’ve also had those plans reviewed by our central office and we’ll soon have them reviewed by FHWA as well to confirm we’re ready to advertise for bids when we’ve obtained right-of-way and utility clearances.”
Beck said 80 percent of the landowners have been settled for right-of-way acquisition and negotiation. PennDOT is also working with utility companies to raise or shift lines along the route, he said.
“Overall, we made good progress this year and we remain on track for work under that first construction contract in that southern section to start next year,” said Beck.
The first contract will involve 5 million cubic feet of earthwork. The second contract will involve the construction of nine bridges and noise barriers. The third will be the paving and the interchange at existing Routes 11/15 and 522, he said.
“Each contract will take roughly two years to complete, with the first contract to start next year,” said Beck. “We continue to anticipate the southern section will be completed and open to traffic in 2027 as we’ve been targeting.”
Ted Deptula, the assistant construction engineer for PennDOT District 3-0, said concrete is in place and crews are putting asphalt over the northern section of the project until it’s finished in October. The final piece of the project will be constructing the southbound lane between Route 405 and the four-lane section of Route 147 south of Montandon.
The northern section with the $156 million river bridge will be ready for drivers in 2022. Deptula anticipates a fall opening.
“It’s been a long time coming and we’re nearing the end,” said Deptula.
Jim Saylor, director of the SEDA Council of Governments, said the results of a CSVT study on economic development along the route will be revealed on Monday. The virtual meeting will be held live at 6 p.m. on www.lyco.org/csvt.
Transportation Committee Chair Joe McGranaghan, also the mayor of Shamokin Dam, said the project has been “a community effort” over the last four decades.
“This project has been one of the best examples of bipartisanship that could possibly be out there,” he said.
Both Democratic and Republican legislators and elected officials have teamed up to make the project a reality, said McGranaghan.
“It’s an exciting time to be in this area and I think we’re going to see some exciting changes as this project comes online,” he said.