Work on long-awaited highway extension starts

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 2, 2016 6:29 PM

Photo by PennDOT

Work has started on the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project.

(Shamokin Dam) -- Drivers hoping for a smooth ride on a major midstate road will get their wish - it's just going to take eight years.

The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway has been in the planning stages for decades.


Now, it's finally happening.

The $670 million project won't be complete for eight years.

But by the end, drivers will be able to keep going at 55 miles per hour on Routes 11 and 15 instead of winding through four miles of busy roads in Shamokin Dam, Snyder County before getting back on the highway.

Shamokin Dam Mayor Joe McGranahan says he has faith the project will move forward, even though it's been in works for 40 plus years.

"Everything is moving forward. I have seen nothing to stop it. All the environmental concerns have been addressed. The mitigation lands are already in place. All the federal hoops have been jumped through. The financing plan's been approved by the Federal Highway Administration," says McGranahan.

McGranahan says he expects the quality of life to go up in the borough, with less traffic.

He doesn't think business will suffer.

"There will be signage designating the current Routes 11 and 15 as Route 11 and Business Route 15. And the signage will make it clear that it's very easy to get off in Shamokin Dam, and have dinner, stay at one of our hotels, and get back on the highway whenever you want to."

He says driving around can be difficult because so many trucks and cars flood its main street every day.

The project, funded through the 2013 state transportation bill, is set for completion in 2024.

The Thruway project is starting with construction of a new bridge that will cross the Susquehanna River and link Route 147 to Route 15.

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