MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, Pa. --- At an open house meeting inside Nitrauer Elementary School Wednesday night, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials gave the public a look at a proposal to upgrade the U.S. 30 and Route 222 interchange.
The $40 million project serves as a starting point to a larger plan by PennDOT to reconstruct a larger portion of Route 222, including widening it from four to six lanes.
The proposed improvements at the U.S. 30 and Route 222 North interchange include:
- Adding a lane for merging from U.S. 30 West toward Route 222 North
- An optional lane will be added at the Route 222 and U.S. 30 East interchange
- Widening the Route 222 ramps over U.S. 30
- Additional sound barriers
Michael Crochunis, a spokesperson for PennDOT, said the reason for the project is to improve safety in that area.
“We do have considerable backlog and congestion on these roadways and some difficult weaves as you approach these interchanges and trying to get off ramps while other people are trying to merge onto the highway," said Crochunis.
Crochunis said they're currently at the public meeting stage of the project, seeking to hear from people who frequent the area.
Some people in attendance believe the plan is a great idea.
“It’s time. There’s too many cars on too little roadway," said Sue Savage.
“My Cadillac was totaled trying to get in that interchange because there’s so much congestion and people crossing this way and that way trying to get to the lane they want to go to. And it sounds like making two lanes go to 222 will void a lot of that crossover trying to get on at Oregon Pike," added Robin Roy of Lancaster.
Fred Angle of Lancaster said he worried the additional lanes could cause confusion but believes it will help Route 222 traffic while alleviating through traffic around the interchange.
“All the traffic shifts over, comes over Landis Valley Road and it goes down through 272 and it really gets backed up in the mornings and heavier traffic so that’s going to help, also," said Angle.
Bryan Hull said he's not "one hundred percent sure" the proposed plan will help the traffic problem.
“I would think they have to put a bypass in. You can’t have that many cars, six lanes going to that exit. It’s not going to work," said Hull.
Monica Hull added that she believes the additions to the U.S. 30 and Route 222 interchange will only make the traffic issue worse.
“I think it’s going to bring more cars on and they’re just going to get more congested when it’s time to get onto 30 and 283. The cars are already going much faster than they’re supposed to be going on 222 and it’s just going to give them easier access to do that," said Hull.
Crochunis said the final design of the project is expected by the end of this year.
He said construction on the U.S. 30 and Route 222 interchange is scheduled to start in 2022 with the hope that final paving on the project will be completed in spring or summer of 2024.