PennDOT weighs bid on Route 15 interchangePatriot-News
Construction to rebuild US 11/15 & PA 581 interchange in Camp Hill could begin in January. Bidding began earlier this month.

I wondered why the plan selected includes a left turn from US 15 North to US 11 South/PA 581 West. Given that PennDOT advises trucks headed to points north to use PA 581 West, I assumed that a flyover would have been part of the redesign. Not so, says Michael Lapano of PennDOT who replied to an email from me last week:

The movement from SR 15 NB to PA 581 WB will be an at grade left turn. This will eliminate the existing loop ramp to SR 581 which is a traffic conflict point. Why is the new intersection at grade instead of a flyover ramp? The question is primarily due to cost/benefit. In the early stages of design a flyover ramp was investigated, however the size and impacts, both environmentally and in loss of commercial/residential property, was too great to justify. The proposed intersection, will have dual left turn lanes on SR 15 and will be signal controlled. Since a signal currently exists on SR 15 SB just before the interchange, it was relatively easy to allow NB traffic to cross SR 15 to access PA 581 WB while traffic is stopped waiting for the SR 581 off ramp to clear.

Not the answer I was hoping for, but I understand why PennDOT reached that decision.

Also, when asked if PA 581, which begins at one end at I-81, might get “promoted” Lapano indicated that there are not “any plans in the immediate future to designate this as an Interstate Route.”

Project Web site – PennDOT

Author: WFY

Yet another Washingtonian pushing the ubiquitous Nats/DC sports, Penn State, commuting, bicycling, kayaking, broomball, skiing, gin & tonic agenda.

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