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More traffic changes for Route 283 project this week, weather permitting

Posted 3/19/18

New westbound traffic patterns will be initiated this week through the Route 283 reconstruction project through Lower Swatara and Londonderry townships north of Middletown.

The reconstruction …

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More traffic changes for Route 283 project this week, weather permitting

Posted

New westbound traffic patterns will be initiated this week through the Route 283 reconstruction project through Lower Swatara and Londonderry townships north of Middletown.

The reconstruction project covers six miles of Route 283 between the Toll House Road interchange and the interchange with the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 283. This is a major project for an important highway connection between Harrisburg and Lancaster that carries nearly 56,000 vehicles a day. 

Beginning possibly as early as Tuesday night, March 20 — depending on the weather — the contractor will split the two lanes of westbound traffic by directing one lane across the grass median to an Express Lane on the eastbound roadway. A concrete barrier will separate the Express Lane from eastbound motorists. This move will leave one lane of traffic remaining on the westbound roadway. This lane will be labeled Local Traffic.

The single lane of westbound traffic on the westbound roadway will provide access to and from the Vine Street, Union Street and Airport Connector interchanges. Although it is labeled for Local Traffic” motorists using it can continue to I-283 and Harrisburg area destinations. Motorists headed to I-283 are encouraged to use this lane for Local Traffic.

The Express Lane will have no access to the ramps for the Vine Street, Union Street and Airport Connector interchanges. Motorists headed to the Pennsylvania Turnpike or Eisenhower Boulevard are encouraged to use the Express Lane.

There is only a short distance between the end of the Express Lane and the interchange for I-283, and this short distance may make it difficult for motorists in the Express Lane to cross back over the median and then cross over the westbound roadway to reach the off-ramp for northbound I-283. For this reason, it is recommended for motorists headed to the ramp for northbound I-283 to use the lane labeled Local Traffic.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation urges drivers to exercise caution when traveling through the work zone and pay attention to the signing and message boards identifying the new traffic patterns. The speed limit on Route 283 will be reduced from 65 mph to 55 mph while the new traffic configuration is in effect — probably until mid-to-late November.

This work is part of the $89.4 million project that began last spring in 2017 to rebuild six miles of Route 283 as well as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Union Street and Vine Street interchanges. Westbound Route 283 will be rebuilt this year; eastbound Route 283 will be reconstructed next year. The structure work on the project includes the superstructure replacement of three mainline bridges, deck replacements of five mainline bridges, bridge preservation work on three overhead bridges, and one new prefabricated retaining wall. Rehabilitation work on three bridges over Route 283 were completed last year — the Newberry Road, Union Street and Vine Street bridges. The project also includes updated drainage and guiderail, signing and pavement markings, new highway lighting, and 12 new rain gardens to manage storm water.