Top Stories of 2022: Northern section of CSVT opened

Dec. 31—The northern section of the $900 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project opened this year to traffic after decades of planning and funding delays.

PennDOT opened the $156 million bridge and surrounding roadway that spans the Susquehanna River on June 25 to pedestrians and bicyclists before it opened to vehicle traffic. A reported 6,000 people on a hot summer morning and afternoon traversed the 3.5 miles of roadway that included the one-mile-long bridge.

Days later, on June 29, federal, state and local officials gathered on the highway to speak about the bipartisan, decades-long effort that went into the project, as well as cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the northern section.

The bridge opened to traffic on July 7 and 8. By Oct. 28, all lanes of the roadway fully opened in both directions. The northern section of the CSVT bypass, links Route 15, just south of Winfield in Union County with Route 147 in Point Township, Northumberland County.

The northern section will eventually connect with the southern section, now under construction. The southern section will offer motorists a limited access bypass around the busy Routes 11-15 business strip in Shamokin Dam and Hummels Wharf.

While the northern section is open to traffic, Ted Deptula, the assistant construction engineer for PennDOT District 3-0, said the nine overhead sign structures still need to be installed over two months in early 2023 between Winfield and Montandon.

While the northern section is open to traffic, it won't be until 2027 that the southern section is completed. The first of the three contracts for the southern section has started. Contractor Trumbull Corporation of Pittsburgh has been moving 4.5 million cubic yards of earthwork and clearing approximately 270 acres of trees between Selinsgrove and Winfield, said Deptula.

They are also constructing erosion and sediment control, including basins and drainage structures like box culverts and pipes; improving intersections at Route 15 near Granger's Road and Route 204 near Mill Road; will realign Park Road, Fisher Road and Colonial Drive in Monroe Township next year, as well the intersections at Mill Road, App Road and Airport Road, said Deptula.

According to PennDOT, the CSVT project has been in the works since the Route 15 corridor study was completed in 1959. It wasn't until the passage of Act 89 in 2013 that funding became available to complete the project.