28th Division Highway
Currently this highway connects the northwestern and southeastern sections of Pennsylvania via the state capital of Harrisburg. However, it didn't always follow that path. From when it was signed in 1926 until 1933, it only made it halfway across the Commonwealth, ending at Water Street at US 22. It deviated from the current alignment at Phillipsburg where it followed former PA 970 to Sandy Ridge and current PA 350 to Bald Eagle then current Business US 220, PA 453, and PA 45 to end at US 22.
In 1933, the alignment was changed and the eastern terminus was moved from Water Street to Lewistown. In 1934, the highway was under construction from the Ohio state line to the Mercer County line, which was completed the following year. In 1936, the highway was paved from Union Road to Pitts Road. That same year, the eastern terminus was moved yet again when it was moved to New Jersey. The US 322 designation was signed to Harrisburg and onto the majority of its current path to Chester. Numerous widening projects began in 1938 from Lewistown to Mifflintown, Speeceville to Clark Creek, PA 443 to Harrisburg, Harrisburg to Hummelstown, in Downingtown, and US 202 to Concordville
The 1940s began with widening taking place from South Watson Run Road to Culver Drive, US 19 to the location of the current I-79 interchange, Kerrtown to Meadville, Patchel Run Road to the bridge across the Allegheny River, and Burnham to Lewistown in 1940. The following year the sections from the Mifflin County line to Mount Pleasant, Amity Hall to the current PA 849 intersection. In 1946, the highway was widened from Marthas Furnace to the Patton Township line and Clark Creek to Dauphin. In 1948, widening took place from Mount Pleasant to Milroy and the following year from Clarks Ferry to Speeceville. Construction on a new alignment from Concordville to Chester began in 1949.
In 1950, widening continued with a section from Amity Hall to the current PA 849 intersection seeing work. Also that year, the first section of the new alignment from US 1 in Concordville to PA 261 opened. Yet another section opened in Delaware County in 1951, this time from PA 261 to PA 452. In 1952, widening took place from the current I-79 interchange to Kerrtown and Dauphin to PA 443. Also that year, construction began on the section of I-83 from US 22 to Derry Street which would open in 1954. In 1953, the highway was widened from Clarion Junction to Clarion, over Clearfield Creek, Huston Township line to PA 550, at Stevenson Road, Scotia Road to Woodycrest, and Burnham to Lewistown. Construction began on the bypass of Hummelstown which opened a year later relieving Main Street of the US 322 designation. Widening took place in 1954 from PA 550 to Stevenson Road, Stevenson Road to Scotia Road, and Yeagertown to Burnham. Also that year, the new alignment between US 1 and Chester opened which removed the US 322 designation from Concord Road. An alignment change took place in Meadville with the route moving from Pennsylvania Avenue, Mercer Street, Water Street, and Poplar Street. Construction began on the West Chester Bypass from PA 100 to High Street, which opened in 1955. In 1956, the highway was widened in Grampian, State College to Branch Road, and from Milroy to Reedsville. In 1958, medians were installed from PA 102 to Meadville, Overlook Heights to State College, Amity Hall to the current PA 849 intersection, Clarks Ferry to Speeceville, in Dauphin, Eisenhower Boulevard to US 422, and at the current PA 272 intersection. Widening took place in Cochranton, at the Old Turnpike Road intersection, in Clearfield, in Honey Brook, and in West Chester. The northern section of that borough's bypass opened from the US 322 alignment to PA 100, while construction began on a segment of expressway from Electric Avenue to Main Street in Lewistown. A change in the alignment took place in the state capital with westbound traffic moved to Second Street and Division Street. In 1959, a median was installed from the West Chester Bypass to US 1 while widening took place Needful Road to Bigler Cutoff Road, in Phillipsburg, and at the current PA 743 intersection. The segment of expressway from Electric Avenue to Main Street opened and a designation change took place in Meadville with it moved from Poplar Street and Liberty Street to Linden Street and Main Street as well that year.
In the first year of the 1960s, the US 322 designation was moved off Valley Street, East Market Street, South Juniata Street, and Main Street in Lewistown to the new expressway. In 1961, a median was installed from Conneaut Lake to PA 102 while it was widened in Wallaceton. Construction began on a new alignment from Cochranton to Hannasville and on the Cornwall Bypass in 1962. Medians were installed from the Harris Township line to Boalsburg and US 202 to Concordville as well as the designation moved off Paxton Street and onto I-83 from the Second Street interchange to the Paxtang interchange. The new alignment from Cochranton to Hannasville and the Cornwall Bypass opened in 1963. The latter removed the designation from Main Street, Hillcrest Road, South 14th Street, and Boyd Street.
While new alignments were opening that year, the Department of Highways was planning to build the Conchester Expressway from I-95 to US 1 and then place the designation on the proposed but cancelled US 202 expressway. The plan was scrapped in 1974 with the only evidence of this project the section of expressway west of Interstate 95.
Construction began in 1964 on new sections of expressway from the Milroy interchange to the Electric Avenue interchange in Mifflin County, and from just east of the PA 34 interchange to US 11/US 15. That same year, the designation was moved onto the West Chester Bypass. When it opened, the designation was moved onto the bypass and off Hannum Avenue, West Chestnut Street, and South High Street. The next segment of expressway in Mifflin County opened in 1965 from the Milroy interchange to the Electric Avenue interchange, removing the designation from Tea Creek Road, Main Street, and Electric Avenue. The same year the section of expressway in Perry County opened from the Watts interchange to US 11/US 15 while construction extended from PA 34 to east of the interchange, and upgrading US 322 to expressway standards for I-95 from Exit 3 to Exit 4 began. In 1966, construction began on a new alignment east of the Mifflin County line to Milroy and extended from the Perry County line to the PA 34 interchange. In 1967, the expressway opened from the Millerstown interchange to the Watts interchange while construction began from Pfautz Valley Road to the Millerstown interchange. Also completed was the upgraded section of US 322 in Chester. In 1968, the new alignment from east of the Centre County line opened while construction began on sections from I-81 to US 22, the Eisenhower Interchange where I-83, I-283, and US 322 all converge, and a short section of expressway east to Paxton Street. A median was installed that year from the current US 322/Business US 322 interchange Overlook Heights. In 1969, the expressway opened from Pfautz Valley Road to the Millerstown interchange while a median was installed on the section from South Allen Street to Rolling Ridge Drive. Also that year, construction began from the Progress Avenue interchange to Interstate 83.
The 1970s began with the designation being moved to its current alignment between Luthersburg and Clearfield. Prior to this year it followed US 219 to Grampian and then PA 879 to Clearfield. A median was installed from PA 417 to French Creek in Franklin and from Underwood Trail to south of the Centre County line while the sections from I-81 to US 22, the Eisenhower/Hershey Interchange, and short expressway east of it opened. While that was opening, construction was beginning on the Mount Nittany Expressway in State College from North Atherton Street to the College Township line. In 1971, construction to widen and install a median began from Sandy Ridge Trail to Port Matilda and from Decker Valley Road to Underwood Trail. The same year, construction began from just east of the Branch Road overpass to Boal Avenue on the Mount Nittany Expressway project, Dauphin to I-81, Cameron Street to Progress Avenue, and from Ninth Street to and including the Commodore Barry Bridge. A median was installed on the bridge over French Creek in Franklin. The following year construction began from US 322 in Macedonia to the Lost Creek Road underpass and the Helltown Road underpass to the Pfautz Valley Road interchange. In 1973, construction began from the Lost Creek Road underpass to the Helltown Road underpass while that same year the project between Sandy Ridge Trail and Port Matilda finished. The big news in 1974 was the completion of the Commodore Barry Bridge and expressway from Ninth Street, which signaled the end of the ferry that carried US 322 traffic across the Delaware since 1937 and the designation on Flower Street. The project between Decker Valley Road to Underwood Trail finished that year as well.
In 1975, the expressway between Macedonia and the Pfautz Valley Road interchange opened as well as the interchange at Ninth Street in Chester. In 1976, the section of I-81 from Cameron Street to Progress Avenue opened. Construction began on the remaining section of the Mount Nittany Expressway from the College Township line to just east of the Branch Road overpass in 1979. While work was getting underway on that, it was wrapping up on the section from PA 443 to Interstate 81. With that opening, the designation was moved off Front Street, Second Street, and Division Street and onto Interstate 81, Interstate 83, and Eisenhower Boulevard to bypass the capital.
The first year of the 1980s saw the opening of the first sections of the Mount Nittany Expressway from North Atherton Street to the Penn State University interchange and the Oak Hall/Boalsburg interchange to Boal Avenue. In 1984, the Hummelstown Bypass from West Main Street to US 422 was upgraded to an expressway. In 1985, the remainder of the Mount Nittany Expressway from Penn State University interchange to the PA 26 interchange and from there to the Oak Hall/Boalsburg interchange opened to traffic. The section of expressway within the PA 26 interchange opened in 1991.
The 1990s began with the Cornwall Bypass from PA 72 North to just west of Boyd Street being upgraded to an expressway in 1991. Construction began from Mount Pleasant to the Milroy interchange and on the Dauphin Bypass from PA 225 to PA 443 in 1997. The Dauphin Bypass opened to traffic in 1999 and the segment from Mount Pleasant to the Milroy interchange opened in 2000. In 2000, the section from the Susquehanna River to PA 325 was upgraded to an expressway and the section from PA 325 to PA 225 was upgraded a year later.
Work to improve the highway is extending into the 21st Century. PennDOT has been studying the feasibility of building an expressway from Exit 123 of Interstate 80, bypassing Phillipsburg, and connecting with the future Interstate 99 west of Port Matilda. The actual alignment is still being determined, which is proving to be tricky with farmlands and forests forcing engineers to "tip-toe" around them. On July 18, 2002, PennDOT's transportation study team announced the path of Corridor O. The proposal goes south of Thompson's Curve and north of Philipsburg and Morrisdale and would be the shortest, least costly and least disruptive of five routes under consideration. In this plan, only 32 homes would have to be taken instead of 80 or 90 that the other proposals would end up taking. Also this plan would only cost $400 million, $50 million less than the others. The price tag does not include bridges and the cost of acquiring right-of-way.
One of the last remaining gaps in expressway from State College to Harrisburg is the section from State College to Potters Mills. PennDOT had been conducting a needs study formally referred to as the South Central Centre County Transportation Study (SCCCTS) to determine where an expressway should be built. Three alignments were focused on:
The Department of Transportation hit a snag in their budget and had to revise the 12-Year Transportation Program that was released in 2004. The Corridor O project made the cut but only to complete the current phase and then be re-evaluated. The SCCCTS was not so fortunate as it was deferred. So far the only new portion of roadway to be built was the Phillipsburg Bypass which began in Spring 2004 and opened in Fall 2005.
The former gap in the expressway through the Lewistown Narrows which was considered the most dangerous stretch of highway in Pennsylvania. The reason is that the highway was two-lanes, narrow, and connected two sections of expressway where traffic travels faster. Construction began on the Arch Rock interchange to upgrade it from a half-diamond to full-diamond interchange to provide access for both directions in April 2002 and was completed in Fall 2003 at a cost of $12.9 million. The $19.1 million rehabilitation of the interchange with Business US 22, including a new bridge over the widened highway, began in early 2003 and finished in 2005. The upgrading of the highway to an expressway between those two interchanges began in early 2004 and finished in 2008 at a cost of $110 million.
Westbound in "The Narrows" prior to reconstruction.
After seven years of construction, and delays involving pyritic rock, a portion of the Port Matilda Bypass and segment to State College segment opened on December 17, 2007. The eastbound lanes from just west of the borough to Skytop Mountain were supposed to open thirteen days earlier, but the opening was postponed to give crews more time to prepare. The opening was then moved to December 13 before it was cancelled due to winter weather.
While clean-up of acid rock kept the southbound side of the expressway closed, US
322 has had its eastbound and westbound directions split temporarily.
Even though the cleanup of the acid rock continued, PennDOT decided to open as many completed sections to move as much traffic off the antiquated US 322 as possible. Eastbound traffic used a temporary ramp on Skytop Mountain to rejoin the former alignment while the westbound traffic continued to use the former route. Federal, state, and local officials gathered on November 24, 2008 to mark the completion of the expressway and pay tribute to former US Representative Bud Shuster who spearheaded the effort for high-speed route through central Pennsylvania. "This project became a reality through the tireless work and dedication of Congressman Bud Shuster," Secretary of Transportation Allen Biehler said. "Bud was instrumental not only for making this roadway a reality in the region, but for delivering the entire corridor." Shuster himself spoke at the opening by saying I-99 "really was the premier dream...seeing an Interstate going north to south through our region." The acid rock clean up, which added $82 million to the cost, was alluded to a few times but not mentioned outright. The highway opened at 3 PM which was just in time for its first winter weather test that evening as most of it is higher than the original route and therefore its bridges freeze faster.
High temperatures took its toll on the ramp carrying US 322 from the Commodore Barry Bridge onto southbound Interstate 95 on July 18, 2011. The ramp was closed and the buckled pavement repaired in the same day so traffic could begin using it that same day. About two months later, it wasn't heat but water that caused a portion of US 322 at the US 422/PA 39 interchange in Hershey to buckle and sink on September 8. Tropical Storm Lee unleashed a torrent of rain onto the Midstate, and severe flooding damaged the highway near the Milton Hershey Medical Center which reopened September 11 after repairs were made.
Construction began in July 2008 to improve connections between US 322, the Commodore Barry Bridge, and PA 291 in Chester. New ramps were built to provide a direct connections to and from PA 291/Second Street just to the west of the bridge. PennDOT joined federal, state, and local officials on the afternoon of October 7, 2011 to cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially open the new ramps, drawing to a close the $77.2 million project. These new ramps are going to enhance access and travel within the City of Chester and compliment the city’s economic redevelopment and revitalization efforts along the waterfront,” PennDOT District Executive Lester C. Toaso said. "Motorists now will find it quicker and easier to go between the waterfront and the interstate since they no longer have to weave their way on city streets to travel between I-95 and Second Street." PennDOT announced in June 2012 that the project had received the 2011 Diamond Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania and the 2011 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award from Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers.
The Harrisburg morning commute on May 9, 2013 was not a smooth one for those who regularly use US 22. At 6:10 AM, a tanker truck hauling 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel traveling the ramp from Interstate 81 northbound to US 22/US 322 westbound lost control and crashed, bursting into flames. Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved and the driver managed to escape the cab before the truck exploded, which burned for about 45 minutes and caused guide rail to melt and the roadway surface to explode. The fuel that did not burn leaked into Paxton Creek and the lake in Wildwood Park.
US 22/US 322 and Interstate 81 were closed immediately so PennDOT could determine the structural integrity of the affected bridges. The ramp where the accident took place as well as the bridge that carried US 22 eastbound south towards downtown Harrisburg would both need replaced. Traffic on US 22 westbound and the ramp from it to I-81 northbound resumed later that morning at 10:30 AM, the ramp to I-81 southbound at 1:40 PM that afternoon, the ramp from I-83 northbound to I-81 southbound reopened at 4:45 PM, and later that night, Exit 61 and Exit 65 reopened. Governor Tom Corbett signed a disaster emergency proclamation on the night after the accident. "This accident has created a traffic nightmare for thousands of citizens as they try to go about their daily lives to work, school and other activities," Corbett said. "But the economic impact across the Northeast United States and Mid-Atlantic region is potentially staggering when you consider the amount of commerce that travels through Pennsylvania on these roads every day." To provide a detour route, the Turnpike Commission waived tolls for anyone entering and exiting at Exit 226/Carlisle and Exit 247/Harrisburg East from May 9 to midnight on May 13.
Demolition of the affected spans began on May 10, with the first being the US 22 eastbound span. At the same time, temporary median crossovers were built north and south of the bridge to restore eastbound traffic was happened at 3 PM on May 12. Demolition of the US 22 span was completed the following day at a cost of $2.1 million, with Interstate 81 northbound traffic being restored at 7 PM and southbound traffic at 7:35 PM. PennDOT learned on May 14 that the USDOT released $2 million in emergency funds to pay for work getting the Interstate reopened. The new eastbound span opened to one lane of traffic at 3:20 PM on November 14, 2013, and the $3.3 million phase officially came to a close a week later at 1 PM after the temporary crossovers were removed and guide rail installed. US 22 westbound was restored to two lanes of traffic a little after 3 PM on November 21.
An upgrade project began in 2014 to improve safety and reduce congestion in Centre County. The focus of the work would be a 3.75-mile-long section of US 322 from PA 144 to the Mifflin County line and cost $100 million. Full interchanges would be built just west of PA 144 and near Sand Mountain Road with a four-lane highway being built between those two points, staying as close to the current alignment as possible from west of the PA 144 intersection eastward to the top of Seven Mountains, and a two-lane connector would would be built along the stretch to serve local traffic. Full interchanges would allow the connector to have a smaller footprint and minimize impact to the surrounding state forest. Initial plans called for a partial interchange near PA 144, and while a full interchange would have a greater impact on agricultural land there, it would be offset by the minimized impacts throughout the rest of the project. Also, the two full interchanges would limit the number of homes that would have to be acquired, which stands at two but could increase as the project continues. The groundbreaking ceremony attended by PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch joined Centre County officials for the long-awaited project took place October 29, 2014 near the Potters Mill VFW. "It is our daily mission to improve safety and keep Pennsylvania moving," Schoch said. "Thanks to Governor Tom Corbett’s leadership, Act 89, our transportation plan, makes the long awaited Potters Mills Gap project a reality. The completion of these three sections will ultimately improve safety for the thousands of people who travel on this roadway every day." Work on the project is expected to conclude in October 2020.
When the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic swept into the country in March 2020, the Delaware River Port Authority took measures to stem the spread to their employees and staff. At 6:00 AM on March 26, all bridges, including the Commodore Barry Bridge, went to a cashless toll collection system. E-ZPass users would pass through the plazas as normal, and drivers who normally paid by cash would have their license plate captured. A bill for the toll only, without additional administrative or violation fees, would then be sent to their address. At 6 AM on May 11, the DRPA began accepting cash payments again. Additional safety measures were put in place, such as staff wearing face coverings and a protective plastic shield now in place in the toll booth window. They also encouraged drivers paying by cash to wear a face covering when using a cash lane.
US 322 Auxiliary Routes
US 322 Pictures
E-ZPass - Delaware River Port Authority
Commodore Barry Bridge - Delaware River Port Authority
Commodore Barry Bridge - Steve Anderson
Terminus of US 322 - Dale Sanderson
US 322 Expressway - Steve Anderson
US 322 Pictures - Andy Field/Alex Nitzman
US 322 Pictures - Steve Alpert
US Route 322 - David Golub
|Ohio state line six miles west of Turnersville|
|New Jersey state line at the Commodore Barry Bridge in Chester|
|Jamestown to I-80
US 219 to Luthersburg
PA 970 to the New Jersey state line
28th Division Highway
0006: Conneaut Lake to Meadville
0219: DuBois to Luthersburg
0099: Port Matilda to State College
0022: Lewistown to Exit 67A of I-81
0081: Exit 67A to Exit 70
0083: Exit 46B to Exit 51A
0202: West Chester to US 1
0001: US 202 to Concordville
0095: Exit 3 to Exit 4
|Counties:||Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Clarion, Jefferson, Clearfield, Centre, Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Chester, and Delaware|
Port Matilda to Boalsburg
Milroy to Lewistown
Cuba Mills to US 11/US 15
PA 849 to I-81
Exit 67A to Exit 70 on I-81
Exit 51B to Exit 46B on I-83
West Main Street to US 422 and PA 39
PA 72 North to PA 72 South
US 202 North to Business US 322
PA 452 to I-95
Exit 3 to Exit 4 on I-95
I-95 to the Commodore Barry Bridge
|PA 58: Jamestown
PA 18: Hartstown to Conneaut Lake
US 6: Conneaut Lake to Meadville
US 19: US 6 to Meadville
US 62: Franklin
PA 8: Franklin
PA 208: Shippenville
PA 949: Corsica
PA 28: Brookville
PA 36: Brookville
US 219: DuBois to Luthersburg
PA 153: Near Exit 111 of I-80 to Clearfield
PA 53: Phillipsburg
US 220: Port Matilda to State College
US 22: Lewistown to Exit 67A of I-81
US 522: US 22 to Walnut Street
I-81: Exit 67A to Exit 70
I-83: Exit 46B to Exit 51A
PA 241: Fontana
PA 72: Cornwall
PA 897: East Earl
Business US 30: Downingtown
US 202: West Chester to US 1
US 1: US 202 to Concordville
I-95: Exit 3 to Exit 4
PA 5 (1925 - 1930): Meadville to Phillipsburg
PA 3 (1925 - 1930): I-83 to Hummelstown
PA 1 (1925 - 1930): Downingtown
PA 12 (1925 - 1928): US 202 to Concordville
PA 6 (1926 - 1930): DuBois to Luthersburg
PA 13 (1926 - 1927): I-83 to Hummelstown
US 22 (1926 - 1936): I-83 to Hummelstown
US 122 (1926 - 1935): Business US 322 to US 1
PA 47 (1927 - 1928): Ohio state line to Jamestown
PA 58 (1927 - 1928): Jamestown to Conneaut Lake
PA 67 (1927 - 1928): Conneaut Lake to Meadville
PA 46 (1927 - 1928): Phillipsburg to Port Matilda
PA 64 (1927 - 1928): Phillipsburg to Port Matilda
PA 95 (1927 - 1928): Business US 322 to Potters Mills
PA 34 (1927 - 1928): Potters Mills to Mount Pleasant
PA 17 (1927 - 1928): I-83 to Hummelstown
PA 5 (1927 - 1936): Hummelstown to West Chester
PA 22 (1927 - 1928): Business US 322 to US 1
PA 61 (1927 - 1936): Concordville to Chelsea
PA 410 (1928 - 1970): Luthersburg to PA 153
PA 350 (1928 - 1933): Phillipsburg to Port Matilda
PA 250 (1928 - 1933): PA 550 to Potters Mills
PA 53 (1928 - 1933): Potters Mills to Reedsville
Bypass US 230 (1954 - 1961): US 22 to I-283
US 111 (1961 - 1963): US 22 to I-283
|Dauphin Boro interchange to PA
PA 325 to US 11/US 15
|Truck US 322 to Brandywine Creek Road|
|Shippenville to Reynoldsville
Rockton to Woodland
|Meadville to Franklin|
Business US 22
Macedonia Gap Road
Clark's Ferry Bridge
Union Deposit Road
North of Skiles Boulevard (Westbound)
PA 926 (Eastbound)
South of Green Tree Drive (Eastbound)
Watkins Road (Eastbound)