PennDOT has revealed plans to make changes to the intersection of Chambers Hill Road and Grayson Road along Route 322 in Swatara Township.
With any big switch, the proposal comes with excitement, concerns, and a hefty price tag.
“You get just over the crest of the hill and it’s just like Christmas: red lights all the way ahead,” said Terry Bachur, who lives in Swatara Township. “We find the intersection very dangerous, have for years.”
Bachur isn’t the only one who thinks so. Even the state admits this area has too many accidents.
“As Hershey is having more concerts and special events, sometimes it’s just wild,” said Bachur.
That’s why PennDOT is proposing changes. A $15.5 million project aims to increase safety and decrease congestion.
“We’re going to reroute folks,” said Mike Keiser of PennDOT. “That’s going to help us.”
Workers shared the plan with community members at the Swatara Township Municipal Building on Thursday. PennDOT wants to widen Route 322 to have three lanes in each direction right before the intersection.
The intersection currently has traffic coming from six ways. Plans call for that to be reduced to four, with an addition of a roundabout.
“A little concerned about the intersection at Milroy with the roundabout,” said Bachur. “They said they did a traffic study, which is great for now, but in five years, will there be more traffic coming?”
Keiser says that roundabout will make up for the left turn option that’ll be taken away.
“It’s about a half mile longer, but we guarantee you with the savings that we have with the traffic signal, you’ll get to your house a little quicker than you do today,” said Keiser.
It’s still very early in the planning process. Construction wouldn’t start until 2022, at the earliest.
“I see some great concern and good planning,” said Bachur. “They’re picking up some good ideas.”
PennDOT is still accepting input. The full design can be found on PennDOT’s website.