Walnut Street Extension Project Breaks Ground
New, 2-lane roadway/bridge will connect Greenfield Road with Route 30—-major Central Pa. artery
High Real Estate Group LLC (HREG), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), county and township officials and local stakeholders broke ground today on a multimodal transportation project that will alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety on a key highway corridor in Lancaster County. The multimodal transportation project will also help create more than 2,600 new jobs. The nearly $22 million Walnut Street Extension Project (SR 1050 Section 101) will add a 1.2-mile, two-lane roadway connecting Greenfield, a growing, mixed-use commercial and residential development, to U.S. Route 30, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the county.
“The Walnut Street Extension Project demonstrates the potential when government, the private sector and local residents work together to solve a transportation-safety issue while preserving precious farmland, creating jobs and ensuring recreational opportunities for county residents and visitors,” said Mark Fitzgerald, president and COO, High Real Estate Group LLC. “This project makes Lancaster County more vibrant and more livable through smart growth within a modern, multimodal transportation system. I want to thank all the stakeholders, in particular East Lampeter Township and PennDOT, for all their hard work over a three-year period to make this project happen. I also want to thank Lancaster County and the City of Lancaster for their support and collaboration.”
HREG, after coordination with PennDOT, awarded the project to low-bidder Kinsley Construction. Upon completion, PennDOT will own and maintain the state roadway. During weekday commuter peak hours, the Walnut Street Extension is anticipated to divert approximately 500 to 600 vehicles per hour from the adjacent, parallel Greenfield Road corridor. The interchange at Route 30/Greenfield Road will see a reduction in peak-hour traffic by an estimated 30%. The project site is defined by existing state-owned right-of-way, the so-called “Goat Path,” which PennDOT acquired and planned for roadway construction decades ago. This project will spur additional economic development in East Lampeter Township and the Greenfield Campus, which will generate an estimated 2,676 direct and indirect jobs through the future industrial, office, commercial, higher education and residential uses that will be served by the project.
“PennDOT understands that community support and collaboration equal success when it comes to transportation projects. This long-awaited improvement will ease congestion, promote economic growth and improve multimodal connectivity in the region,” said PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser. “PennDOT is proud to be a partner in advancing this worthy project.”
Construction, expected to be completed by November 2023, includes a new two-lane road from the U.S. 30/Walnut Street interchange to a roundabout intersection with an extended Ben Franklin Boulevard connecting to Greenfield Road. The plan also calls for a new 167-foot -long, 54-footwide steel bridge and construction of a section of the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway (GLHP) just to the east of the new road. The 1.2-mile-paved GLHP trail will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists and will be constructed in a manner consistent with the Lancaster Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The mostly 16-foot-wide trail makes the Walnut Street Extension a truly intermodal project and is a big step towards fulfilling the vision of the ATP. High Steel Structures will fabricate steel girders for the bridge across Millcross Road.
“The East Lampeter Township Board of Supervisors has been a supporter of the private-public partnership which has brought this vital multimodal infrastructure project to fruition,” stated John Blowers, chair of the East Lampeter Township Board of Supervisors. “Upon completion, this project will be a vital commuter and recreational link for a growing live-work-play center of Lancaster County. This project will also serve as an eastern segment of a regional recreation facility that will positively impact economic development, redevelopment and tourism in Lancaster County’s central urban growth area.”
When four-lane-highway construction in the “Goat Path” was first proposed 30 years ago, it was opposed by Lancaster’s Amish farm community. In collaboration with East Lampeter Township, HREG leaders and PennDOT officials were able to earn Amish farmers’ support for this new multimodal plan by promoting growth within the confines of the established urban growth boundary, thereby preserving farmland while providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. About a dozen goats from Amazing Grazing, LLC, a local livestock company, were on hand for the ceremony.
About High Real Estate Group LLC
High Real Estate Group is a full-service real estate organization providing expertise in development, brokerage, architecture, construction, and investments, and holds real estate assets with annual revenue of $195 million and an estimated market value of approximately $1 billion. Through its affiliate, High Associates Ltd., it offers a full complement of real estate services including asset and property management, appraisal services, grounds and property maintenance, strategic planning, and consulting. The company manages more than 8.5 million square feet of office, industrial, multi-family, hotel, and retail properties throughout the eastern United States. High Real Estate Group is based in Greenfield Corporate Center, East Lampeter Township, Lancaster, Pa. More information is available at www.highrealestategroup.com.