“The Walnut Street Extension Project demonstrates the potential when government, the private sector, and local residents work together to solve a transportation-safety issue while preserving precious farmland, creating jobs, and ensuring recreational opportunities for county residents and visitors,” said Mark Fitzgerald, President and COO, High Real Estate Group LLC. “This project makes Lancaster County more vibrant and more livable through smart growth within a modern, multimodal transportation system."
HREG, after coordination with PennDOT, awarded the project to low-bidder Kinsley Construction. Upon completion, PennDOT will own and maintain the state roadway. The project site is defined by existing state-owned right-of-way, the so-called “Goat Path,” which PennDOT acquired and planned for roadway construction decades ago. This project will spur additional economic development in East Lampeter Township and the Greenfield Campus, which will generate an estimated 2,676 direct and indirect jobs through the future industrial, office, commercial, higher education, and residential uses that will be served by the project.
“PennDOT understands that community support and collaboration equal success when it comes to transportation projects. This long-awaited improvement will ease congestion, promote economic growth, and improve multi-modal connectivity in the region,” said PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser.
Construction, expected to be completed by November 2023, includes a new two-lane road from the U.S. 30/Walnut Street interchange to a roundabout intersection with an extended Ben Franklin Boulevard connecting to Greenfield Road. The plan also calls for a new 167-foot-long, 54-foot-wide steel bridge and construction of a section of the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway (GLHP) just to the east of the new road. The 1.2-mile paved GLHP trail will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists and will be constructed in a manner consistent with the Lancaster Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The mostly 16-foot-wide trail makes the Walnut Street Extension a truly intermodal project and is a step toward fulfilling the vision of the ATP. High Steel Structures will fabricate steel girders for the bridge across Millcross Road.
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When four-lane highway construction in the “Goat Path” was first proposed 30 years ago, it was opposed by Lancaster’s Amish farm community. In collaboration with East Lampeter Township, HREG leaders and PennDOT officials were able to earn Amish farmers’ support for this new multimodal plan by promoting growth within the confines of the established urban growth boundary, thereby preserving farmland while providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.