The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. Thursday said it will launch a planning study this month of the area around Interstate 81 exits 48 (York Road) and 49 (High Street) in South Middleton Township.
CAEDC had earlier mentioned the study, but said Thursday that the effort will kick off in April and will be completed by the end of the year.
The study area includes Army Heritage Drive from Claremont Road to Trindle Road, Trindle Road from Army Heritage Drive to York Road, and York Road from Trindle Road to Fairview Street.
“There has been a growing need for us to examine the traffic and transportation issues surrounding these two partial interchanges,” CAEDC CEO Jonathan Bowser said in a news release. “By working together to define what our specific planning needs are, we can begin drafting the policies and identifying the projects we need to improve the area’s mobility and economic development potential.”
CAEDC said in a news release that the planning process will revisit a prior study of the area performed by the Cumberland County Planning Department in 2005. However, since that study, the area has grown and roads have been expanded and modified.
CAEDC will lead the study, with oversight from the county planning department and guided by a project advisory committee consisting of representatives from area municipalities. The public will also have an opportunity to be part of the process, which will include an open house that CAEDC will plan later this year.
The study is expected to result in options to address the area’s capacity, congestion and safety issues, according to CAEDC.
“This process is an important opportunity for those who live and work within the area to discuss how we want to address transportation connectivity and traffic issues over the long-term,” Bowser said in the release. “We all have a stake in those decisions, for our own future and economic advantage.”