Penns Valley

This major road construction project is another step closer to completion

Phase 3 of the Potters Mills Gap transportation project is slated to start in May.
Phase 3 of the Potters Mills Gap transportation project is slated to start in May. Centre Daily Times, file

Commuters who are tired of the congestion and safety hazards often encountered on U.S. Route 322 over the Seven Mountains in Potters Mills are in luck. Improvements are closer to completion.

The final phase of the estimated nearly $107 million project to improve the stretch of Route 322 from Sand Mountain Road to Potters Mills was bid Thursday, according to the state Department of Transportation.

PennDOT is expected to award the $82,374,064 Phase 3 project to Glenn O. Hawbaker, of State College, and give notice to proceed in May.

"The last phase of the project will promote safer travel, ease the congestion seen during high-traffic volumes, and make the movement of goods and services easier and more timely," PennDOT District Executive Karen Michael said. "We are thrilled to see this job get underway."

The third and final phase for the project is to reconstruct Route 322 from Sand Mountain Road to Potters Mills with a four-lane extension, and build a Route 322/Route 144 intersection that will be a part of the local access road.

Work has been underway on the Potters Mills Gap project since 2015, when a new bridge was constructed at Sand Mountain Road during the first phase. The second phase, which just wrapped up with the tree removal along the two-lane section of the highway, created the new Sand Mountain Road local interchange.

The goal of the project is to improve safety, reduce congestion and alleviate access issues along the section of Route 322 from near its intersection with state Route 144 to the Centre/Mifflin County line.

Up-to-date information on each phase of the project, including detours and delays, can be found at at PennDOT's interactive website.

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