HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Two major road projects are getting ready to kick off in Dauphin County. Drivers may have to allow extra time or find a different route.
The Union Deposit Road Bridge will be getting a major facelift starting next week. It will be closed to pedestrians and is expected to create some traffic delays.
“I believe we’ve been on this corner for about 18 years now,” Nate West said.
West works at Herr’s Fruit Farm stand along Union Deposit Road.
“It’s a necessary evil,” West said.
PennDOT contractors will begin to rebuild the Union Deposit Road Bridge, just blocks away from the stand, on Tuesday.
“It could hinder our sales, but looking at the future, the long run, there’s a benefit to the stand and all the neighboring businesses around here,” West said.
PennDOT has set up a detour for pedestrians and bicyclists who normally travel over the bridge. It’s part of an overall widening project on Interstate 83. Three bridges are included in that project.
Eastbound traffic on the bridge will be limited to one lane. Both east and westbound lanes will be restricted in a few months.
“About 28,000 vehicles a day travel on it, roughly 13,000 or 14,000 in each direction. That’s a lot of traffic in this area, so we want people to be aware of it. If they can find alternatives, that might be a good thing this year during the construction,” said Greg Penny, spokesperson for PennDOT.
A separate project is coming to Interstate 81.
“Starting next Sunday, we’re going to shift traffic on Interstate 81 to the right,” Penny said. “That’s onto the shoulder and right lane.”
That’s for northbound traffic between exit 70, the 81/83 split, and exit 72/Mountain Road. The same thing will happen to southbound lanes the following week.
Population growth has a lot to do with the need for the projects.
“When I moved here 35 years ago, I came from the Philadelphia area, and I said, ‘Where’s all the traffic?’ You can’t say that anymore. There’s plenty of traffic in this area,” Penny said. “This has been a very popular area for people to come and work and raise a family.”
West is getting ready to pack his patience.
“We just have to look to the future and look for the pot of gold at the end,” West said.