The northern section of the Transportation in the Central Susquehanna Valley (CSVT) is still on track to open to traffic at the end of the summer, according to PennDOT officials.
PennDOT held a press conference on Wednesday to review upcoming construction work planned in Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties. Major projects will include bridge rehabilitation projects at Snyder and Union, as well as the continuation of CSVT.
The CSVT project, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2027, is a major focus of PennDOT’s District 3 construction season.
Construction on the $900 million project began in 2016 and is the largest current project in District 3, according to Ted Deptula, assistant construction engineer at PennDOT. The project covers 13 miles of road in Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties and will connect municipalities in these counties including Selinsgrove, Shamokin Dam, Montandon and Winfield.
Deptula said motorists “will greatly benefit from separating through traffic from truck traffic and making the roads safer”.
The northern section will connect Route 15 in Winfield to Route 147 south of Montandon via the river bridge. Work began on the northern section in 2016 and the bridge was completed in December 2020.
The bridge is 4,545 feet long with 15 spans. Currently, the northern section is in the fourth and final phase of construction, with line paving and painting continuing through the summer. The causeway should be open to traffic by the end of the summer, according to Deptula.
Although CSVT does not connect directly to the boroughs of Lewisburg and Northumberland, it will help alleviate ongoing traffic issues.
“The opening of the northern section of CSVT is expected to reduce traffic volumes on Route 147 in Northumberland and Route 15 in Lewisburg, providing motorists with a limited-access alternative to existing open-access roads,” Matt said. Beck, assistant district plan engineer at PennDOT.
“In addition to reducing congestion in these communities, safety will be improved as conflicts are reduced between local traffic and the high volumes of trucks and other vehicles that currently use these existing roads to simply drive through the area,” Beck continued.
Construction of the southern section will begin this year at a cost of $360 million, according to Deptula. The southern section will link Route 15 south of Winfield to Routes 11/15 north of Selinsgrove. Environmental clearance was issued in 2019 to alter approximately two miles of the project alignment to avoid fly ash waste ponds near the Shamokin Dam. After that, PennDOT began the process of right-of-way acquisitions
“We have all the necessary properties for the first contract, so we are moving forward,” Deptula said.
Construction of the southern section begins soon, and Deptula expects all three phases of the southern section to be completed by 2027. The southern terminus of the southern section will connect to the existing bypass that was built in the 1970s when Incarnation CSVT’s predecessor, the bypass project, has begun.
This project was later stalled due to funding issues.
Other projects highlighted include a bridge rehabilitation project on the Highway 104 Bridge that spans Mahantango Creek in Chapman Township, Snyder County. Construction will begin May 26 at a cost of $3.1 million.
In Union County, a timber covered bridge on Gray Hill Road in White Deer Township will be rehabilitated. This project is scheduled to begin June 1 and will cost $1.1 million.
PennDOT officials also said repairs will be made this summer to the Highway 15 crossing in Winfield and paving will take place on Highway 54 in Montour County. A reconstruction project in Bloomsburg, Columbia County will also continue.