Route 222 in Lancaster County closed twice due to flooding

WEST EARL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Route 222 in Lancaster County has been closed twice this summer because of flooding. Many folks are wondering what's being done to prevent this moving forward.

The good news is the problem is already on PennDOT's radar. The bad news is it will take at least eight years, if not longer, before any changes can be made.

In the last ten years, Route 222 south of Brownstown has closed three times because of flooding.

"It's highly unusual, to the point where many of us who work here cannot remember having a summer with these extended periods of rain and the amount of flooding that we've had," Fritzi Schreffler, a spokesperson with PennDOT, said.

PennDOT is already working on a project to reduce congestion and improve safety on another area of Route 222 at the interchange at Route 30.

It's a 20 million dollar project that is scheduled to happen over the next several years. Before it can look into this problem, phase 1 and 2 must be completed.

"When we looked at the amount of flooding, we were able to kind of tack something on to this project," Schreffler said. "So other part of the projects have to be completed first before we can look at it. And we'd have to assess,  is there anything we can do? Is it strictly up to mother nature? In terms of maybe the road won't be flooded again for another ten to twenty years."

Right now, folks have to wait for the water to recede.

"There are some things that we can look at, in terms of  'can we somehow direct water away from that particular section from the roadway? Is there something we can do with the retaining walls?' but in the case like what we've had this summer, it's just one of those all you can do is wait until it recedes and hope for the best," Schreffler said.

Since the road hasn't sustained any damage PennDOT says it can't do anything.

"It's not that a roadway is not a priority when it floods it's just typically flooding is flooding and there really isn't anything we can do to prevent it. If we get several inches of rain, and the creeks rise, there's not a lot that we can do about that," Schreffler said.

Right now Route 222 is open. If the road were to close again because of flooding, PennDOT says the only thing it can do is wait for the water to go down.