SELINSGROVE -- Concerned residents in Snyder County packed into a meeting to hear about alternate routes for a major thruway, currently being constructed.
The Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project will connect Route 147 in Northumberland County to Route 15 in Union County, but now that highway must be detoured to another location.
It was a packed auditorium at Selinsgrove Area Middle School Wednesday as concerned residents came to learn more about plans for the project.
“Well, we want to know where the bridge is going in and how close it's going to be to our house and what changes they're making now,” said Shamokin Dam resident Dolores Colegrove.
The $670 million project will connect Route 147 in Northumberland County -- over the Susquehanna River -- to Route 15 in Union County, and it is expected to take traffic off congested Routes 15 and 11 in Snyder County.
PennDOT had planned to build the southern half of the thruway on top of two fly ash basins but learned last month those fly ash basins could not support its weight.
Wednesday's meeting was called to explain where the project stands and to take input about where the new route should go. Alternate routes were put on display.
“There will ultimately be right of ways for the new highway once we establish its location,” said Matt Beck with PennDOT. “Whether that will impact farmland or residents or other natural areas.”
“We're interested in where they're going to put it, and I own land on Fisher Road, so I want to see if it's going to be involved,” said Judy Sporar.
“I mean if they want to buy my house, that's fine, but we just want to know what's going on,” added Colegrove.
Some residents were not happy with this setback.
“Yeah, I worked construction for 40 years so it's really inexcusable to be this far along in the project have them come to this, so yeah it's inexcusable,” said Monroe Township resident Charles Harrold.
“Happens, in construction it happens, when a project this large, it's a lot of unknown,” said Beth Goldman from Danville. “And we just want them to finish.”
PennDOT does not anticipate this to delay the entire project, saying it's expected to be complete in 2024.
It plans to hold two more meetings--one in the spring and another in the fall--but no dates have been set at this time.