MARYSVILLE, PERRY COUNTY Pa.-- The project is not finished yet – still several weeks of daytime and possible nighttime lane restrictions.
Marysville resident Ruth Scholl said she's excited the road is reopen.
"Going down along the river there was not easy," she said, referring to a detour route. "There's a lot of potholes, and it was hard on the vehicles."
Friday afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reopened Route 11/15 to traffic between Interstate 81 in East Pennsboro Township in Cumberland County and the Borough of Marysville in Perry County. This portion of Route 11/15 has been closed to all traffic since the night of May 1 for a rock slope safety improvement project. The closure was originally expected to continue until no later than July 30, but the contractor for the project – J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pennsylvania.
"We were working around the clock on this particular project," PennDOT spokesperson Fritzi Schreffler said.
The project is not finished, however, and motorists should expect to encounter daytime lane restrictions between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM and possibly nighttime lane restrictions between 6 PM and 6 AM as the contractor continues to place steel fencing on rock walls that have been built along the road, painting traffic lines, installing pavement markings, and other miscellaneous construction items. The actual contract completion date is in November, but the contractor will wrap up the project long before then – probably by the end of July.
“This is a major achievement,” said Mike Keiser, the district executive for PennDOT Engineering District 8 responsible for state highways and bridges in south central Pennsylvania. “Our task has been to address the longstanding safety issues with rocks, trees, and other debris falling onto the roadway along this tight highway corridor between the mountain, railroad and Susquehanna River. We’ve had two main goals – to do it safely, and to accomplish it quickly so that we can reopen the highway as soon as possible to restore normalcy to people’s travel patterns and to relieve the adverse conditions that businesses, residents and others have had to deal with while the road has been closed. This has been a team effort for us, and one of the keys to this accomplishment has been the leadership and work of J.D. Eckman, our prime contractor for this project, and their subcontractor, Hi-Tech Rockfall, inc. of Forest Grove, Oregon.”
The construction company is in line to receive $50k for each day they are ahead of schedule with a maximum cap of $2 million, according to PennDOT. That money is already built into the cost of the project.
PennDOT said crews will be out Saturday taking down signs saying 11/15 detour signs on 22/322 and I-81.