Early progress shows dramatic impact of the Thruway project

The transformative Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project is starting to give hints of just how dramatic an advancement in transportation it will be when it is completed several years from now.

The signature piece of the $700 million project is a 13.5-mile long, 180-foot high, steel-girder bridge that will cross the Susquehanna River and include smaller bridges and interchanges with routes 147 and 15. Drivers in that area now can see just how dramatic that construction feat will be when it is completed.

Older drivers in our audience will remember when Route 15 north of Old Lycoming Township was a glorified country road all the way to the New York State border.

The transformation to a new Route 15 over that stretch took three decades and there were fears that the pristine nature of the original Route 15 could not be duplicated. But the completed road today is a breathtaking stretch of highway that yields an expansive view of the natural beauty of the rural portion of Pennsylvania between Williamsport and Mansfield.

The same will be true when the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project is completed from Route 147 in Northumberland County to Route 11/15 in Snyder County.

Beyond the staging of this area’s incredible natural beauty will be an alleviation of the legendary commercial congestion in the Shamokin Dam area. And beyond the beauty will be safer traveling for motorists and an economic boon that naturally comes from more expedient travel for commercial drivers and companies.

Older drivers can remember when Route 15 south of Harrisburg toward the Maryland border was a two-lane highway.

They can remember when Route 15 between Shamokin Dam and the Harrisburg was a dangerous two- and sometimes three-lane section of highway.

Both those advancements as well as the aforementioned work north of Williamsport have dramatically improved Route 15 in Pennsylvania.

It has taken nearly a half century, but the completion of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project will make Route 15 officially a major highway from the Maryland to the New York border.

And the cherry on top of the expedient, safer travel and economic advantages is the preservation of the natural beauty of Pennsylvania. We call that the right kind of progress.