Penn State

It’s Penn State move-in weekend. Here’s what to know about traffic and getting around

PennDOT details what to expect with North Atherton construction this summer

PennDOT's Marc Maney gives an update on the North Atherton Street construction project on April 10, 2019.
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PennDOT's Marc Maney gives an update on the North Atherton Street construction project on April 10, 2019.

It’s that time of year again — the nights are getting cooler, some leaves are starting to turn and it’s Penn State move-in weekend.

With more cars on the road all trying to get to the same place, here’s a breakdown of different routes heading into and around Centre County that could affect your commute through Sunday.

Downtown State College

The borough of State College has in place a special traffic pattern during move-in weekend to alleviate local traffic congestion. Through Saturday, the right-hand lane of East College Avenue between University Drive and High Street will be closed to become a parking lane, according to the borough.

Also, through Sunday, East Calder Way will become a one-way street heading westbound from Hetzel Street to South Garner Street. It will also become one-way eastbound from High Street to Hetzel Street, said the borough.

All other construction projects will be suspended during this time.

Atherton Street

Atherton Street between West Aaron Drive and Park Avenue won’t have any additional lane closures on Friday for drivers heading toward the university, said PennDOT.

But “due to an “unforeseen issue” at the new box culvert, there will be a right lane closure throughout the weekend on Atherton Street between West Cherry Lane and Blue Course Drive for traffic heading away from the university, said PennDOT press officer Marla Fannin.

“This should have minimal impact on PSU move in,” she wrote in an email. “There will be 2 lanes heading toward the University and 1 lane leaving the University for this short area.”

The rest of the work zone will have two lanes open in both directions for the weekend, she said.

According to contract, there are certain events where the Atherton Street construction zone must be cleared as much as possible, and “Penn State move in day would be one of those,” Fannin said over the phone.

Through September, no pedestrian crossing is allowed at the intersection of Park Avenue and Atherton Street, because there are no pedestrian signal heads, PennDOT said. Additionally, where traffic narrows to one lane heading toward the university near the Park Avenue intersection, left turns will be restricted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Friday.

Between Cherry Lane and Curtin Road on Atherton, the long-term far-left lane closure traveling toward Penn State will remain in place “to widen the roadway and install curbing and sidewalk,” said PennDOT. On Friday, both lanes will be open in both directions. The center turning lane will remain closed at all times.

U.S. Route 322/Seven Mountains

On U.S. Route 322, drivers should expect delays heading toward Penn State, especially if coming from the Southeast/Harrisburg area, said Fannin.

“As far as 322 goes, I’m less concerned about Potters Mills,” she said. “We have a couple of projects, one in Mifflin County on 322, one in Juniata County on 22 ... that could delay traffic coming to Penn State.”

But Potters Mills won’t avoid the worst of the slowdowns, she said.

“I would anticipate that travel is going to be slowed, and it’s probably going to be slowed through Potters Mills, simply because there’s going to be so many people coming through for school,” she said.

The Centre County Grange Fair, which ends Saturday, may also cause traffic going either westbound or eastbound on 322, she said.

Drivers heading westbound on 322 through the Seven Mountains will no longer use the crossover, said a PennDOT release. Traffic is now routed onto the new local access road — Route 2015 — which lies east of the intersection of Routes 322/General Potter Highway and 144/Old Fort Road.

As always, drivers should be alert for construction vehicles entering and exiting the roadway, said PennDOT.

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