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State College Area Connector

Started by 74/171FAN, November 30, 2022, 03:48:21 PM

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74/171FAN

I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.


webny99

Great to see this getting traction, as it is badly needed.

I know we've debated on this forum before whether a connection to the PA 26 stub at I-99 (Exit 81) would make sense as an alternative. I am still supportive of that idea, since it would relieve some of the pressure on 322 between I-99 and I-80, but I recognize that the Potters Mills-Boalsburg section needs to be upgraded or bypassed regardless.

Ketchup99

Quote from: webny99 on November 30, 2022, 04:01:09 PM
Great to see this getting traction, as it is badly needed.

I know we've debated on this forum before whether a connection to the PA 26 stub at I-99 (Exit 81) would make sense as an alternative. I am still supportive of that idea, since it would relieve some of the pressure on 322 between I-99 and I-80, but I recognize that the Potters Mills-Boalsburg section needs to be upgraded or bypassed regardless.

I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

Bitmapped

Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 18, 2022, 07:24:35 PM
I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

I'm going to disagree about there not being much pressure on US 322 between I-99 and I-80. All of US 322 between Port Matilda and PA 970 (Clearfield area) is at 8400 AADT or greater, with the part nearest PA 970 at 15,000 AADT. Those numbers are enough to start a conversation about four lanes, especially when you take into account the grades and high percentage of truck traffic.

webny99

Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 18, 2022, 07:24:35 PM
I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

Wow, three minutes isn't much - certainly less of a difference than I was expecting. The U-shape routing between Potters Mills and Pleasant Gap is rather deceiving. That's already not much different than shortcutting via PA 144/PA 26, subtract a few minutes in savings for the US 322 upgrades and the I-80/I-99 interchange upgrades, and I-99 to I-80 would be a true toss up or maybe even the preferred route - certainly preferred for trucks since it's flatter and would/will be all-freeway.


Ketchup99

Quote from: Bitmapped on December 19, 2022, 12:00:04 PM
Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 18, 2022, 07:24:35 PM
I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

I'm going to disagree about there not being much pressure on US 322 between I-99 and I-80. All of US 322 between Port Matilda and PA 970 (Clearfield area) is at 8400 AADT or greater, with the part nearest PA 970 at 15,000 AADT. Those numbers are enough to start a conversation about four lanes, especially when you take into account the grades and high percentage of truck traffic.

Well, this threw me for a loop. I didn't realize the counts were that high, as every time I've driven it (which is routinely), it doesn't seem that congested. But numbers don't lie...

It would definitely be an interesting route to try to four-lane. In particular, the section heading down into Philipsburg from the east would be nearly impossible to four-lane. Would the only solution be a new bypass of Philipsburg? That would be expensive...

Roadsguy

Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 24, 2022, 12:41:12 AM
Quote from: Bitmapped on December 19, 2022, 12:00:04 PM
Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 18, 2022, 07:24:35 PM
I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

I'm going to disagree about there not being much pressure on US 322 between I-99 and I-80. All of US 322 between Port Matilda and PA 970 (Clearfield area) is at 8400 AADT or greater, with the part nearest PA 970 at 15,000 AADT. Those numbers are enough to start a conversation about four lanes, especially when you take into account the grades and high percentage of truck traffic.

Well, this threw me for a loop. I didn't realize the counts were that high, as every time I've driven it (which is routinely), it doesn't seem that congested. But numbers don't lie...

It would definitely be an interesting route to try to four-lane. In particular, the section heading down into Philipsburg from the east would be nearly impossible to four-lane. Would the only solution be a new bypass of Philipsburg? That would be expensive...

A new-alignment freeway is exactly what would most likely happen along the entire corridor from Port Matilda to I-80, and I believe PennDOT does still intend to build it someday, though it's been shelved for a long time. It's even designated ADHS Corridor O-1, a branch from Corridor O (I-99/US 220).
Mileage-based exit numbering implies the existence of mileage-cringe exit numbering.

ARMOURERERIC

Quote from: Roadsguy on December 24, 2022, 11:04:08 AM
Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 24, 2022, 12:41:12 AM
Quote from: Bitmapped on December 19, 2022, 12:00:04 PM
Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 18, 2022, 07:24:35 PM
I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

I'm going to disagree about there not being much pressure on US 322 between I-99 and I-80. All of US 322 between Port Matilda and PA 970 (Clearfield area) is at 8400 AADT or greater, with the part nearest PA 970 at 15,000 AADT. Those numbers are enough to start a conversation about four lanes, especially when you take into account the grades and high percentage of truck traffic.

Well, this threw me for a loop. I didn't realize the counts were that high, as every time I've driven it (which is routinely), it doesn't seem that congested. But numbers don't lie...

It would definitely be an interesting route to try to four-lane. In particular, the section heading down into Philipsburg from the east would be nearly impossible to four-lane. Would the only solution be a new bypass of Philipsburg? That would be expensive...

A new-alignment freeway is exactly what would most likely happen along the entire corridor from Port Matilda to I-80, and I believe PennDOT does still intend to build it someday, though it's been shelved for a long time. It's even designated ADHS Corridor O-1, a branch from Corridor O (I-99/US 220).

There was a straight line schematic posted on the board about 20 years ago

amberjns

#8
Quote from: Roadsguy on December 24, 2022, 11:04:08 AM
Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 24, 2022, 12:41:12 AM
Quote from: Bitmapped on December 19, 2022, 12:00:04 PM
Quote from: Ketchup99 on December 18, 2022, 07:24:35 PM
I like the idea in theory, but there's not much pressure on 322 between Clearfield and Port Matilda. The other thing is that it would be nearly impossible to build a highway over Mount Nittany without raising the ire of environmentalists, who would have a good point. It's currently only three minutes longer to take 322 W -> 99 N -> 80 W as opposed to 322 -> 970 -> 80. Once the new interchange is finished, I'd bet a lot of trucks would choose that option too.

I'm going to disagree about there not being much pressure on US 322 between I-99 and I-80. All of US 322 between Port Matilda and PA 970 (Clearfield area) is at 8400 AADT or greater, with the part nearest PA 970 at 15,000 AADT. Those numbers are enough to start a conversation about four lanes, especially when you take into account the grades and high percentage of truck traffic.

Well, this threw me for a loop. I didn't realize the counts were that high, as every time I've driven it (which is routinely), it doesn't seem that congested. But numbers don't lie...

It would definitely be an interesting route to try to four-lane. In particular, the section heading down into Philipsburg from the east would be nearly impossible to four-lane. Would the only solution be a new bypass of Philipsburg? That would be expensive...

A new-alignment freeway is exactly what would most likely happen along the entire corridor from Port Matilda to I-80, and I believe PennDOT does still intend to build it someday, though it's been shelved for a long time. It's even designated ADHS Corridor O-1, a branch from Corridor O (I-99/US 220).
I would like to believe that this will actually happen. This is very important for me because my son was among the students from the Landscape Architecture 414 class who made their presentations regarding the State College Area Connector project at Center LifeLink. I hope everything works out for us. Regarding the State College Area Connector project, the compilation of all student's presentations will be available in February.

Advertising link removed.  --J N Winkler

74/171FAN

I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

webny99

#10
Thanks for the update, this is great to see. My initial preference of the three preferred alternatives is the northernmost one.

I'm a little disappointed that none of the PA 144 alternatives are being considered, since that will make the stub near I-99 basically permanent. However, I can't argue that US 322 is in much greater need of improvement.

Ketchup99

The thing is that, as annoying as it is from a roadgeek point of view, the PA 26 stub at Exit 81 does its job - it provides a bypass of Pleasant Gap and a route from Pleasant Gap to I-80, giving high-speed access from Penn State out eastbound on 64. There's no real demand for a route across Mt. Nittany - US 322 is congested, whereas 144 basically just serves as a local road.

webny99

Quote from: Ketchup99 on March 14, 2023, 06:05:56 PM
The thing is that, as annoying as it is from a roadgeek point of view, the PA 26 stub at Exit 81 does its job - it provides a bypass of Pleasant Gap and a route from Pleasant Gap to I-80, giving high-speed access from Penn State out eastbound on 64. There's no real demand for a route across Mt. Nittany - US 322 is congested, whereas 144 basically just serves as a local road.

I think trucks and long-distance traffic connecting to I-80 would absolutely use a high-speed route on the PA 144 corridor if one existed. It's not busy now only because it's not a very high quality road, so US 322 is still a better/faster route even though it's congested.

74/171FAN

I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

74/171FAN

I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

NE2

pre-1945 Florida route log

I accept and respect your identity as long as it's not dumb shit like "identifying as a vaccinated attack helicopter".

74/171FAN

PennDOT - District 2 News: PennDOT Announces Removal of PA 45 Connection From State College Area Connector Project

QuoteAdditionally, PennDOT announced that it is allocating up to $3 million to study and address safety concerns identified on Route 45 in Harris and Potter townships. The need for this study, which will be conducted independently of the ongoing SCAC project, was nonetheless identified as part of the SCAC Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study's public input and preliminary engineering phases.


I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

Roadsguy

Quote from: 74/171FAN on January 19, 2024, 02:33:27 PM
PennDOT - District 2 News: PennDOT Announces Removal of PA 45 Connection From State College Area Connector Project

QuoteAdditionally, PennDOT announced that it is allocating up to $3 million to study and address safety concerns identified on Route 45 in Harris and Potter townships. The need for this study, which will be conducted independently of the ongoing SCAC project, was nonetheless identified as part of the SCAC Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study's public input and preliminary engineering phases.

Presumably for the alternatives that featured the connector, the interchange will remain, but with just a short connector south to current 322 for local access.
Mileage-based exit numbering implies the existence of mileage-cringe exit numbering.

74/171FAN

PennDOT - District 2 News: State College Area Connector Moving into Next Phase of Project Development

QuoteClearfield, PA – Having published the State College Area Connector (SCAC) Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has requested that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) publish a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. This action would initiate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Phase of project development, which includes conducting detailed field investigations, traffic analysis, and refining engineering alternatives.

At present, the design team is conducting field investigations. These include, amongst other things, conducting agricultural operation interviews, wetlands delineations, plant and wildlife species surveys, and traffic counts. Experts in the various fields are conducting these investigations.

The design team drafted a newsletter and distributed it to stakeholders who have provided an email address throughout the public involvement process. PennDOT also posted it on the landing page at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/SCAC. Moving forward, the design team plans to distribute this newsletter quarterly.

PennDOT still anticipates hosting a public meeting this summer to present the alternative refinement from the PEL study for the Route 322 corridors as part of the SCAC project.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.

I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

amberjns


NE2

pre-1945 Florida route log

I accept and respect your identity as long as it's not dumb shit like "identifying as a vaccinated attack helicopter".



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