The place where routes 30 and 222 meet in Manheim Township can be nasty.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation hopes to change that.
“Everyone knows that 222 southbound to 30 west, that’s been backing up for a number of years now,” PennDOT project manager Douglas Murphy said. “The gist is to try to get traffic to flow better.”
A proposed $40 million plan would turn Route 222 into a six-lane highway, the first in Lancaster County, and add lanes to exit and entrance ramps.
PennDOT is hosting a September meeting in Manheim Township to go over details of the plan and answer questions. Work should begin in spring 2022 and finish in fall 2024.
What does the plan include?
— Route 222 from the interchange north to near Stoner Park: A new lane will be added in each direction, making Route 222 a six-lane highway. The lanes will be built into the grassy median, Murphy said. A concrete median, similar to the one on Route 283, will be built in the middle. During construction, PennDOT plans to keep two lanes of traffic open, he said.
— Route 222 southbound to Route 30 westbound: Currently, the single on-ramp lane to Route 30 West is notorious for causing traffic to back up on Route 222 South during rush hour. PennDOT wants to add another lane to the Route 30 West on-ramp that would allow motorists entering that highway to continue straight toward the Route 272 North on-ramp or the exits to Lititz and Fruitville pikes.
“If you're getting off for Route 272 North, you can stay in that lane," Murphy said, adding it should cut down on motorists weaving in and out of traffic. New signs will direct drivers.
— Route 272 (Oregon Pike) on-ramp to Route 30 East and Route 222 North: Getting onto either Route 30 East or Route 222 North is not an easy feat at rush hour. The ramp off Oregon Pike quickly goes from two lanes to one, and motorists have one lane to use to either stay on for Route 222 North or merge over to Route 30 East. The weaving chaos comes when motorists try to merge from Route 30 East to the Route 222 North exit at the same time.
PennDOT plans to add a lane onto eastbound Route 30 that continues off the Route 222 northbound exit and loops over the bridge. Also, the two-to-one lane merge off Oregon Pike will be extended by about 500 feet along the sound barrier wall, Murphy said.
“When you’re in the right lane on Route 30, you can continue down to the outlets but also be able to zip off and be in the inside lane of the ramp,” Murphy said. The bridge over Route 30 will be replaced to add the new lane.
— Route 30 westbound at Route 222 North exit: A third lane will be added near the off-ramp and continue under the bridge on Route 30 West.
How could this impact the community?
The addition of lanes in the exiting Route 222 grassy median means more stormwater management basins will be needed, Murphy said. PennDOT will need to purchase land on neighboring properties to do this, he said.
Another issue could be noise control, Murphy said. PennDOT will take public input and talk to neighbors about whether or not noise walls should be added.
The interchange work is the first part of three projects to turn Route 222 into a six-lane highway.
The second phase will extend to the Jake Landis Road area at the Oregon Pike exit in Manheim Township. Murphy expects that to go to bid in 2025.
The third phase will extend the lanes to the Route 772 (Brownstown) exits in West Earl Township. That bid is expected in 2027.