Route 441 currently runs through the middle of Columbia in Lancaster County.
Tractor trailers hauling heavy loads through town is nothing new, and residents say they have worn out their welcome.
“The street was resurfaced not too long ago, but it’s been ruined by heavy truck traffic,” borough resident Ronald Waugh said.
“The problems would be the big trucks that come through Columbia. I mean, we had trash and smelly stuff would come through which wasn’t nice for the neighbors,” Catherine Drescher said.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday morning to fix the problem. Plans to relocate Route 441 in Columbia were given the green light after nine years of discussions.
“I never thought I’d live to see it completed,” Drescher said. “It seemed like it has been taking forever to get done.”
A finished product on paper shows Route 441 running along the Susquehanna River with an overpass over Route 30.
“It will come from the top of the hill there and go down and catch 441 at the end of town,” borough council president Michael Beury said.
It’s aimed at alleviating heavy congestion through the center of the borough. Most residents are on board.
“To take out all the trucks and things that had to go through Columbia, I am just so thankful, it will make Columbia a much nicer town to live in,” Drescher said.
“It’s pretty easy to see once this job is done how much it’s going to mean to the community,” PennDOT’s Mike Keiser said.
The project will cost around $14 million. PennDOT expects it will be completed by the fall of 2015.