322 highway project

This is a bit off topic but I thought folks that travel up to State College from southeast PA for football games, or any other reason, might be curious to know what is going on with the long awaited 322 "Connector Project" which would finally create a four lane limited access highway that runs all the way from Harrisburg to State College. The Centre Daily times recently ran this article (What’s next for the State College Area Connector project?) which details the proposed routes and informs the public of a session open for public comment. If you want to look at a larger PDF with the map of proposed routes PennDot has this available on their website (PennDot map). I think that the southern proposed routes along the existing 322 would certainly accomplish access to the area better. The northern spur that would head up through route 144 would be more of a bypass to take truck traffic and other traffic not heading to State College around the area. It wouldn't help people actually trying to get to State College as it likely takes most people too far out of their way. Of course, that's easy for me to say since I don't live along any of the routes so I'm not going to have to lay in front of any bulldozers to try and save my house.

I grew up near Philadelphia and went to Penn State in the early nineties so I have many memories of driving this road back and fourth to get home on various breaks between semesters. This was long before many of the sections from Harrisburg had been widened out to four lanes. About 15 years ago my wife and I settled down to live in the State College area and have enjoyed the fact that most of the highways into and out of the area have been greatly improved since we were students here. The interstate 99/route 220 project, which was delayed for several years due to environmental concerns over acidic runoff from iron pyrite, was a huge improvement to get to Pittsburgh and other points south and west of State College. The last remaining chunk of road to access the area is this stretch of 2 lane road coming in from the south east. It was all ready to go 20 years ago and then funding was pulled at the last minute. Hopefully this time it really gets built. It's a dangerous stretch of road that really is inappropriate for the kind of traffic it handles. Every year they wait more building occurs along the road which makes establishing a right of way without displacing or pissing off home and business owners gets more difficult. Many of the structures that are now in the way of some of the proposed routes didn't exist 20 years ago. Unfortunately now the best case scenario is 2030 completion, so for some of you it may be your kids and grand kids that get to take advantage of it.

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