PennDOT to Close Westbound U.S. 22/322 in Perry County for 2 Weeks; Rt. 283 Traffic Shift upcoming

February 27, 2019 10:27 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

PennDOT to Close Westbound U.S. 22/322 in Perry County for Two Weeks to Address Rock Slope Area West of Newport

Harrisburg, PA The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that starting at 7:00 AM on Monday, March 11, its contractor will close the westbound lanes of U.S. 22/322 and implement a two-week detour to address an area of concern for falling rock just west of Newport Borough at the Howe-Greenwood Township Line in Perry County.

During a routine inspection earlier this month, PennDOT engineers noticed that this location showed significant changes. After further evaluation, the engineers determined that recent weathering of the slope has left several large sandstone blocks with weakened support. Taking the current freeze-thaw cycle into consideration as well as groundwater seepage, there is concern that rocks or portions of the slope may fall onto the highway.

PennDOT has contracted with the J.D. Eckman, Inc., of Atglen, Chester County, to conduct the safety improvement project. The work involves removing loose rock from the cliff face along a 1,000-foot portion of westbound U.S. 22/322 one mile west of the exit for Newport. This portion of westbound U.S. 22/322 averages more than 10,600 vehicles traveled daily.

PennDOT advises motorists that westbound U.S. 22/322 will be closed to through traffic for up to two weeks while the unstable rock is removed. Until then, a detour which follows Route 34, U.S. 11/15 to Liverpool Borough, and Route 17 (Sunbury Street) to Millerstown Borough is available for motorists.

PennDOT Preps for Rt. 283 Traffic Shift, Eastbound Reconstruction

Eastbound Rt. 283 lanes will split and a temporary Express Lane will be established

Harrisburg, PA The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that on Wednesday night, March 13, weather permitting, its contractor will establish new eastbound traffic patterns through the Route 283 reconstruction project in south eastern Dauphin County. The reconstruction project covers six miles of Route 283 between the interchange with Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) and Interstate 283 and the Toll House Road interchange. This is a major reconstruction project for an important highway connection between Harrisburg and Lancaster that carries nearly 56,000 vehicles a day. 

Route 283 reconstruction activities have continued through the winter months including daylight work on the I-283/Route 283 bridge, highway lighting, traffic signals, and erosion and sediment measures. Nighttime construction activities include overhead sign structure work, drainage pipe installation and concrete barrier placement. This work is performed at night because it requires traffic restrictions which are not permitted during daytime hours. Construction schedules change quite often this time of year due to inclement weather and cold temperatures.

Nighttime work is expected to continue more frequently and consistently as we move into the spring and should be expected each night, weather permitting, between March and November. Travelers are reminded to be alert for these operations, to obey work zone signs, to use caution when driving through work zones, not only for their safety, but for the safety of the road crews.

Starting at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, March 13, the contractor will begin work to shift two lanes of eastbound traffic by maintaining a local lane and directing the other lane across the grass median to an Express Lane on the westbound roadway. As pavement markings are being placed, the contractor will begin installing temporary concrete barrier to separate the Express Lane from westbound motorists and the eastbound local lane from the work area. Motorists on the westbound side will be shifted first. This move will leave one lane of local traffic remaining on the eastbound roadway.

The Express Lane will have no access to the ramps for the Airport Connector, Union Street and Vine Street interchanges. The single lane of eastbound traffic on the eastbound roadway will provide access to and from the Airport Connector, Union Street, and Vine Street interchanges.

Please exercise caution when traveling through the work zone and pay attention to the signing and message boards identifying new traffic patterns. The speed limit on Route 283 will remain reduced from 65 miles-per-hour to 55 mph while the eastbound lanes are being reconstructed.

This work is part of an $89.4 million project being conducted by Hempt Bros., Inc. of Camp Hill, Cumberland County, to rebuild six miles of Route 283 as well as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Union Street, and Vine Street interchanges. Work began in the spring of 2017 with the rehabilitation of the three structures that carry Newberry Road, Union Street, and Vine Street over Route 283. Westbound Route 283 was rebuilt in 2018 and eastbound Route 283 will be reconstructed this year.

Additional structure work includes the superstructure replacement of three mainline bridges, five mainline bridge deck replacements and one new prefabricated retaining wall. The project also includes updated drainage and guiderail, signing and pavement markings, new highway lighting, and 12 new rain gardens to manage storm water. The overall project is scheduled for completion in 2020 when the final two-inch wearing course layer of Superpave asphalt will be paved in both directions of Route 283.

For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit

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