MONTOURSVILLE – PennDOT District 3 is in the initial stages of planning major safety improvements along the Montgomery Pike section of Traffic Route 15 in Lycoming County.Early this year, the district conducted a safety review of the corridor with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Based on the recommendations from the safety review, plans are being developed to build additional safety features into the corridor, which stretches approximately three miles, from just north of the Route 54 intersection near Montgomery, north to a short distance south of South Williamsport Borough.

This week, the district presented its initial plans to a community focus group comprised of transportation planning partners, emergency services, community and safety representatives, and legislative aides. The plans met with favorable reaction from the focus group.

A primary goal of the planned engineering improvements is to reduce the number of cross-over, head-on type crashes. Many of the more-serious crashes in the corridor have been of that nature.

The planned improvements include installation of median barrier at several locations, wider shoulders where feasible, some restricted turning movements, and a modified center left-turn lane.

These safety improvements come with an estimated price tag of $8 million. Preliminary engineering studies are expected to begin this winter, with the first of five contracts expected to be ready for bids by late 2010.

In recent years, PennDOT has added shoulder and edge-line rumble strips, increased delineation, painted wider traffic lines, and adjusted lane configurations. In addition, PA State Police have increased enforcement. Safety education efforts, including media articles and occasional speed monitors for motorists, have also been added.

A public meeting will be scheduled in the spring/summer 2009 to present the preliminary plans and solicit public comments.

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