Jun. 11—The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation set the date for an invite-only ribbon-cutting ceremony for the northern section of the $900 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project.
On Friday, Matt Beck, a PennDOT assistant plans engineer, updated members of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee on the thruway project during a virtual meeting. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 29, followed by a ground-breaking ceremony for the southern section, will not be open to the public. Elected officials and stakeholders may only attend if they are invited due to limited parking and space at the site.
"We sent invitations to a pretty large group of officials and parties who worked on the project," said Beck. "We hope most of them can join us for that event to commemorate these two exciting milestones and recognize their contributions to getting the project to this point."
The ceremony will be held on the north side of the Susquehanna River with the $156 million river bridge in the background. The northern section of the thruway will not be immediately accessible for drivers, rather it will be early to mid-July before PennDOT wraps up its final tasks and opens it up for public use, said PennDOT construction manager Collin McNeil.
The non-public event is an addition to a public, one-time event prior to its anticipated opening to traffic in July. Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 25, the public will be permitted to walk and bicycle along a section of the new roadway and river bridge to get a close-up look at this unique project. No vehicles will be permitted within the walking/biking area, according to PennDOT.
The contractor is working on highway lighting, guiderails up, median barriers, signage and other items for the northern section, said McNeil.
"We're going to start by putting northbound traffic on the new alignment," said McNeil. "At the north end of the project, just south of the (Route) 45 interchange in Montandon, we built a crossover, so we'll be putting in a temporary barrier to direct southbound traffic onto the new roadway. North and southbound traffic will be able to utilize the majority of the project while we finish the reconstruction from the (Route) 405 interchange where it turns into four lanes south of Montandon.
Contractor Trumbull Corporation, of Pittsburgh, started work for the first contract of the southern section by clearing trees between the Selinsgrove bypass and Mill Road, said McNeil. This contract is for earthwork for the roughly six miles of new four-lane, limited access highway in Shamokin Dam and Monroe Township. In addition to five million cubic yards of earthwork, the contract includes the bridge to carry Sunbury Road over the new highway, various stream culverts and drainage features.
The southern section is expected to be completed in 2027.
The CSVT Southern Section will connect Routes 11-15 north of Selinsgrove to Route 15 and the northern part of the CSVT south of Winfield. The project will eventually include an interchange and connector to Routes 11-15 and Route 61 to the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Shamokin Dam.