Harrisburg Road Enthusiast Meet 2004

The 2004 Harrisburg Road Enthusiast Meet was held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on September 18, 2004. Among the agenda for the gathering were tours of the Goat Path Expressway (abandoned Pennsylvania 23), the U.S. 222 freeway construction at Reading, and the coal fire plagued borough of Centralia complete with its section of abandoned Pennsylvania 61. This page profiles the tour with photographs. The meeting began outside of Shenanigans on Pennsylvania 272 (Oregon Pike) northeast of Lancaster. The following road enthusiasts were in attendance: Aaron Sica, Corey Dukes, Jeff Kitsko, Chris Jordan, Carter Buchanan, Randy Hersh, Seth Dunn, Lou Corsaro, John Krakoff and Alex Nitzman.

Abandoned Pennsylvania 23 / Goat Path Expressway


A freeway was planned and partially constructed for the Pennsylvania 23 corridor between the city of Lancaster and New Holland in southeast Pennsylvania. Construction began and several overpasses, including portions of a diamond interchange at Pennsylvania 772, were completed in conjunction with the project in the early 1970s at a cost of over $9 million.1 In the late 1970s opposition arose and the entire project was halted and cancelled, even leading to PennDOT spreading dirt over the roadbed and planting grass. The chain of events results in a two plus mile swath of a partial built freeway that has sat unused as pastureland for goats and other livestock, which led to its local nickname of the "Goat Path".

Pennsylvania 23 (Market Street) @ U.S. 30 - Lancaster
Constructed in the 1990s, a parclo interchange constitutes the junction of U.S. 30 and Pennsylvania 23 (Walnut Street). The interchange was to have represented the west end of the Pennsylvania 23 freeway between U.S. 30 and Norristown. Pictured here is the shield and guide sign assembly from U.S. 30 eastbound at its split with Pennsylvania 23 west. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Turn left from the above depicted off-ramp and you arrive at the east end of Market Street and a guide sign assembly for the westbound on-ramp to the U.S. 30 freeway. Pennsylvania 23 joins the US route between here and the next exit at New Holland Pike. Photo taken 09/18/04.
A wide swath of pavement constitutes the east end of Walnut Street as it passes underneath the U.S. 30 freeway. The roadway was to continue eastward as a freeway here. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Concrete barriers and barricades line the east end of the concrete for Walnut Street. A large overgrown berm resides beyond the pavement end in the path of where Pennsylvania 23 would have continued east to New Holland. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Looking westward again at the U.S. 30 & Pennsylvania 23 Walnut Street interchange from the berm above. Photos taken 09/18/04.

Grading remains for a never built westbound ramp from Pennsylvania 23 onto U.S. 30. View looks to the north from the berm above Market Street. Photo taken 09/18/04. A chain link fence separates the top of the berm from the open right-of-way for the Pennsylvania 23 freeway to the east. Grading was not as evident near here, however the land remains undeveloped. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Corey Dukes, Chris Jordan, Aaron Sica, Jeff Kitsko, and John Krakoff converse on top of the Pennsylvania 23 berm. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Pennsylvania 772 @ Abandoned Pennsylvania 23
The second portion of the Goat Path Expressway tour included a stop at the partially completed diamond interchange with Pennsylvania 772 (Newport Road). The state route widens from two to four lanes as it crosses over the abandoned Pennsylvania 23. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Northward views of the Pennsylvania 772 intersection with the never opened Pennsylvania 23 westbound on and off-ramps. Photos taken 09/18/04.
The Pennsylvania 772 overcrossing of the abandoned Pennsylvania 23 freeway southeast of Leola. PENNDOT uses the right-of-way as a storage area for its maintenance vehicles and other road related articles. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Perspectives of the concrete stub ramps that comprise the abandoned eastbound Pennsylvania 23 on and off-ramps to Pennsylvania 772 (Newport Road). Photos taken 09/18/04.
Eastward facing views of the abandoned Pennsylvania 23 right-of-way end near Pennsylvania 772. A paved area encompasses what would have been the travel lanes of the freeway. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Grading remains evident for the four-lane freeway mainline of Pennsylvania 23 below the Pennsylvania 772 (Newport Road) overcrossing. This view looks westward toward Lancaster. Photo taken 09/18/04.
At the west end of the Pennsylvania 772 diamond interchange area. The majority of the freeway right-of-way is in use as pasture land for area farmers. Thus the only traffic this highway sees are cows, horses, and other farm animals. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Looking back to the east from the mainline of Abandoned Pennsylvania 23. Grading remains in tact for the off-ramps to Pennsylvania 772 even after two decades. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Chris Jordan, Jeff Kitsko, Lou Corsaro, Aaron Sica, John Krakoff, and Carter Buchanan enjoy the view and comradery at the abandoned interchange. Winds and clouds from the remains of Hurricane Ivan set the tone for the tour. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Horseshoe Road @ Abandoned Pennsylvania 23
Just west of the Pennsylvania 772 (Newport Road) interchange with abandoned Pennsylvania 23 are a set of overpasses at Horseshoe Road. These bridges were to have carried the freeway over Horseshoe Road and thus remain unused. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Like the pastures adjacent to Pennsylvania 772, the right-of-way east of Horseshoe Road entails farmland. The freeway was to travel a good distance above the surrounding environs below. View looks eastward from the abandoned overpasses. Note the ditch along what was to be the median of the carriageways. Photo taken 09/18/04.
The Pennsylvania 23 two-lane spans over Horseshoe Road and the right-of-way east of there. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Geist & Hartman Station Roads @ Abandoned Pennsylvania 23
Continuing the tour westward to Geist Road at abandoned Pennsylvania 23. This local north-south road links Creek Hill Road and Hartman Station Road southwest of Leacock. The narrow roadway actually crosses directly over the grading of the Pennsylvania 23 freeway. A stone driveway to a farm encompasses the eastbound carriageway of abandoned Pennsylvania 23 from Geist Road to a farm. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Hartman Station Road itself travels above the planned freeway just west of Geist Road. Pictured here is the northbound approach to the underpass for Pennsylvania 23. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Hartman Station Road northbound on the approach to abandoned Pennsylvania 23. A modern connector road links Hartman Station Road ahead with Geist Road to the east. The frontage road parallels the eastbound grading of Pennsylvania 23 east of Hartman Station Road. Photo taken 09/18/04.
The Hartman Station Road span above the abandoned Pennsylvania 23 freeway as visible from the frontage road to Geist Road. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Peering east from Geist Road itself at the grading of Pennsylvania 23 and the Hartman Station Road overpass. The vertical clearance is not much between the pasture below and the span above. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Willow Road @ Abandoned Pennsylvania 23
The final piece of actual infrastructure pertaining to the abandoned Pennsylvania 23 freeway is the Willow Road overpass. Willow Road crosses over the freeway right-of-way between Creek Hill road and Greenfield Road east of the Market Street interchange with U.S. 30. Pictured here is the Willow Road southbound approach to the bridge. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Greenfield Road travels north from Pennsylvania 462 (Lincoln Highway) to Pennsylvania 340 (Old Philadelphia Road), and U.S. 30 before ending at Willow Road. The north-south road ends just south of the Willow Road overcrossing of abandoned Pennsylvania 23. After turning northward on Willow Road the scene looks like this. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Facing the city of Lancaster to the west from the Willow Road overcrossing of Pennsylvania 23. What appears to be grading for an on-ramp to westbound is present. In the distance itself is the Walnut Street berm at the Pennsylvania 23 parclo interchange with U.S. 30. Photos taken 09/18/04.
The eastward facing view of abandoned Pennsylvania 23 from the Willow Road overpass. Grading also appears here either for on and off-ramps or as a natural noise barrier between the freeway and surrounding environs. Photo taken 09/18/04.
And finally a northwesterly view of the Willow Road overpass itself above the cow pastures below. Photo taken 09/18/04.

After the tour of abandoned Pennsylvania 23, the group headed northeast to Reading to see progress on the U.S. 222 freeway construction. We parted ways to see some Harrisburg related freeway material before reuniting with the group at Centralia. This section includes tour photos from the abandoned village and segment of Pennsylvania 61.


Centralia, Pennsylvania
The borough of Centralia in central Pennsylvania is home to a large underground coal fire that has been burning since 1961. The subterranean blaze is responsible for the abandonment of the town due to the danger it poses to the ground above in the form of noxious gases and ground collapses. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Road enthusiasts Jeff Kitsko, Chris Jordan, Aaron Sica, Corey Dukes, and Lou Corsaro photograph and peer into a large fissure along an abandoned stretch of Pennsylvania 61. Pennsylvania 61 was closed in 1992 due to the underground fires and now follows SR 2002 (Catawissa Road), a two-lane roadway, just to the southeast of the original four-lane highway. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Abandoned Pennsylvania 61
A half mile or so stretch of Pennsylvania 61 sits unused due to the coal fires at Centralia. The four-lane divided highway is partially overgrown with large rises due to the underground heat. A large fissure belching smoke is found along the southbound side of the former state route. Photos taken 09/18/04.
Westbound facing views of Abandoned Pennsylvania 61. The state route orientates in an southwest to northeast fashion as it leaves Ashland en route to Centralia. Photo staken 09/18/04.

Sources:

  1. "NEW HOLLAND GROUP SEEKS TO FINISH RT. 23." Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA), February 28, 1995.

Page Posted September 20, 2004.

© AARoads