Township eyes turn lane for Spooky Nook complex
Township eyes turn lane for Spooky Nook complex BY DAVID O'CONNOR, Staff Writer
A Route 283 exit adjacent to the soon-to-open Spooky Nook Sports complex in East Hempfield Township could be getting an extra turn lane this year to handle the facility's traffic.
The sports complex, set to officially open to the public on Monday, June 3, is expected to draw large volumes of traffic for tournaments it sponsors.
Local officials are advancing a proposal to add an 800-foot turn lane onto the existing exit for westbound drivers heading to Spooky Nook Road in East Hempfield Township.
Under the plan, the new lane would be a dedicated turning lane for motorists traveling to the new sports complex. It would be similar to the one in the westbound lanes of Route 30 that leads to Park City Center.
Under the proposal, motorists traveling west on Route 283 would follow signs directing them to get into the right lane, take it to the existing exit and follow it onto Champ Boulevard and then to the 64-acre sports complex.
If all goes as planned, the new lane could be ready this year, according to East Hempfield officials.
And, like the $26 million sports facility, the new lane would be paid for with private money, township officials said.
"The way (the new lane) would fit in there would work great," said Mark Stivers, East Hempfield's director of planning and development.
"It makes for a continuous right flow off the highway, so people coming westbound can keep going right toward the sports complex. And it's a great safety step as well."
He said East Hempfield officials have asked for a meeting with Spooky Nook Sports organizer Sam Beiler and the state Department of Transportation, which oversees Route 283, to discuss the plan.
PennDOT would have to approve any changes involving Route 283, and the East Hempfield supervisors would have to OK changes to township roads such as Spooky Nook Road or Champ Boulevard.
No cost estimate for the new turning lane has been given.
While the plan is still preliminary, the proposal "appears to address the stacking/traffic issues on 283 at the sports complex site," said Brett Miller, chairman of the East Hempfield supervisors.
Beiler, former owner of the Auntie Anne's soft pretzel firm, and his representatives "have been proactively working with our township staff to find a solution," Miller said. "And what is being proposed looks like it should meet the needs of both the township and Nook Sports."
The sports facility is being built at the former Armstrong World Industries Inc. flooring distribution center at 2913 Spooky Nook Road, just north of Landisville and Route 283.
Some events already have been held inside the 594,000-square-foot building.
No more large events are planned at the facility until the fall, East Hempfield officials said.
The plans for the sports complex have been well-received by township officials, who approved it nearly a year ago, and many neighboring residents.
The facility will feature soccer, tennis and lacrosse tournaments; basketball and football games; physical therapy sessions; and exercise workouts.
nExtra turn lane off Route 283 would improve traffic flow at Spooky Nook.