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UPDATE: PennDOT narrows options to three for Route 322 connector project in Centre County, skipping the Route 144 corridor

PennDOT is recommending three options for consideration for the State College Connector project.
PennDOT
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PennDOT
PennDOT is recommending three options for consideration for the State College Connector project.

PennDOT laid out three recommendations for the State College Area Connector project, all of which are in the existing U.S. Route 322 corridor, skipping the three Route 144 corridor options that had been considered.

PennDOT had been reviewing nine possible routes for the project, which is meant to alleviate truck and car traffic, connect traffic with interstates 99 and 80, and improve safety in the section of Route 322 that runs between Potters Mills and Boalsburg.

The three alternatives PennDOT is recommending for further study are:

U.S. 322-1 Existing (OEX)

A PennDOT road map showing the existing U.S. Route 322 in Potter Township, Centre County, and an option for rebuilding it.
SCAC
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PennDOT
This snapshot of a PennDOT map shows the existing U.S. Route 322 (in pink) in Potter and Harris townships and the option known as US322-1 (OEX), shown in a black outline, which largely follows the same route.

U.S. 322-1 South

A PennDOT road map showing the existing U.S. Route 322 in Potter Township, Centre County, and an option for rebuilding it.
SCAC
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PennDOT
This snapshot of a PennDOT map shows the existing U.S. Route 322 in Potter and Harris townships (in pink) and the option known as US322-1 South, (outlined in red) which overlaps with part of the option known as US322-1 (OEX).

U.S. 322-5

SCAC US322-5.png
SCAC
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PennDOT
This snapshot of a PennDOT map shows the existing U.S. Route 322 in Potter and Harris townships (in pink) and the option known as US322-5, outlined in blue, which runs south of the current Route 322.

According to the information PennDOT presented with the announcement Thursday, the U.S. Route 322 options would cut truck traffic on local road networks by 72% and cut total traffic on local roads by 53%. That's compared to the Route 144 corridor options, which would only cut traffic on local roads by 43% and truck traffic by 56%.

The total estimated cost of the project falls between $432 million and $517 million, depending on the option chosen. The options all fall in the Route 322 area, although they vary in places.

PennDOT has tentatively scheduled two public meetings on the plans for the evenings of Oct. 19 and 20 at the Mount Nittany Middle School in Boalsburg.

According to PennDOT's timeline, construction could be completed in 2033.

Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities.
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