News

Sinkhole forces closure of Route 422 in both directions near Palmyra

Written by John Latimer/The Lebanon Daily News | Sep 6, 2017 9:45 AM
palmyra_sinkhole.jpg

A sinkhole recently formed in the parking lot of the Sinkhole Saloon and Palmyra Bowling Alley and affected the eastbound lane of Rt. 422 on Friday, August 25, 2017.(Photo: Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News)

 

Closure could last until Thanksgiving

(Palmyra) -- All lanes of Route 422 in North Londonderry Township were closed at noon Tuesday as a safety precaution due to the expansion of a nearby sinkhole.

A pair of sinkholes opened two weeks ago in the parking lot of the Palmyra Bowling Center and Sinkhole Saloon, including one that is 45 feet in diameter and appears to be growing north toward the roadway, PennDOT announced Monday. 

The condition of the road, which handles about 16,000 motorists a day, is being monitored by PennDOT, and with heavy rain predicted to arrive Tuesday afternoon it was decided to completely close Route 422 to all traffic as a safety precaution.

A sign detour directs eastbound motorists on Route 422 by way of Route 117, Route 322 and Route 934. Westbound motorists on Route 422 will be detoured by way of Route 934, Route 322 and Route 117.

The inconvenience should be minimal to Lebanon Transit riders and customers of stores along Route 422 in the affected area.

The project will impact several routes, said LT's Ex. Dir. Teri Giurintano. but LT buses and para-transit vehicles will be considered local traffic during the duration of the closure and will continue to be able to pick up riders at popular locations like Walmart and Sheetz. 


"As long as they are letting us through as a local service, and we've been in touch with local police who told us we will be, then there should not be an issue at all," she said. 

Giurintano credited PennDOT and the local municipalities for working with LT. Details of the detour buses will be using can be found on the agency's website and Facebook page, or by calling the office at 717-274-3664.

"They've been very helpful," she said. "We have to get our customers to places like Palmyra Dialysis. They rely on us." 

Residents and customers of stores, offices and restaurants along the route will also be able to get to their destination during the project, said North Londonderry Township planning director Kris Troup.

"We will have some signage in place that notifies people that local businesses are open to local traffic and they can continue on 422 and Apple Blossom Road coming westbound," he said. "Unfortunately we've been through this before."

Sinkholes have been a notorious problem on this portion of Route 422 for nearly a decade. In 2014, PennDOT spent $1.6 million designing and building an underground concrete bridge that was bolstered with pylons. Until now that seemed to resolve the problem, with the exception of some minor depressions that were quickly fixed. 

This fix will take much longer.

An emergency contract will be prepared and a contractor in place this week who will excavate the sinkhole, make repairs and reopen the highway by Thanksgiving or sooner, PennDOT said.

The repair will also involve excavating the highway for a distance of about 200 feet, from just east of the previous repair made in 2014 located near the west driveway entrance to the bowling center, to the driveway for the Pennsylvania Credit Union. The goal is to finish the repair and reopen Route 422 to traffic by Thanksgiving, if not sooner.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

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