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A major interchange along Route 322 in Ephrata and West Earl townships will be closed later this month for planned road improvements, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The Route 322 at Route 222 interchange will be closed from 9 p.m. on May 14 to 6 a.m. on May 17, PennDOT said in a news release. The closure will be rescheduled for the same hours the following weekend if it is impacted by weather.

On-ramps from 322 to northbound and southbound 222 will remain open, PennDOT said.

Motorists traveling east along 322 from west of the interchange who wish to continue east or access northbound 222 should travel south to the Route 772/Brownstown/Rothsville exit, then take northbound 222 to 322 and proceed east, or continue north on 222, PennDOT said. The 9-mile detour takes about 10 minutes to travel.

Motorists traveling westbound on 322 from east of the interchange who wish to continue west or access southbound 222 should travel north to the Route 272/Pennsylvania Turnpike/Denver exit, then take southbound 222 to 322 and proceed west, or continue on southbound Route 222. This 10.5-mile detour takes about 11 minutes to travel.

Emergency vehicles and horse-drawn carriages will be able to pass through the work zone during the closure.

The closure will allow for tie-in work to open the new diverging diamond interchange currently under construction, according to the news release. The interchange will be transitioned into a new diverging diamond configuration once the detour is lifted.

The $10.9 million project will improve safety by eliminating conflicts with left turns and through movements and improve operations by providing dedicated turn lanes and decreasing backlogs onto the 222 mainline, PennDOT said. It will also enhance non-motorized modes of transportation by improving sidewalk connectivity along 322.

The project includes pavement resurfacing, reconstruction and widening, ramp reconfiguration, new traffic signals, drainage, signs, sidewalks, storm water management, highway lighting, and other miscellaneous construction from Pleasant Valley Road to just east of Hahnstown Road in Ephrata and West Earl townships, according to the news release.

This project is expected to be completed by May 2022.

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