New section of Interstate 99 now open in Pennsylvania

| 11/25/2008

A new section of highway connecting Interstate 99 to Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania is now open to the public.

The project, which has been ongoing for more than a decade, adds eight miles of new highway to Interstate 99, turning the old U.S Highway 220 into a four-lane interstate.

The Centre Daily newspaper reported that the project has seen its share of delays and setbacks over the years, but is now expected to speed up traffic moving through the area and help stimulate the economy of Centre County by creating a crossroads between two major interstates.

Ben LaParne, assistant district executive for PennDOT, told the Centre Daily that it will take time for new traffic patterns along the interstate to emerge.

LaParne was quoted as saying more truck drivers are expected to get on and stay on I-99 as soon as they get off I-80 east of Bellefonte. However, the newly opened road may also give truckers new access to other state highways as well, which could bring more traffic to local towns.

According to the Centre Daily, another leg of the project, which would have expanded highways from U.S. 322 in Potters Mills north to Interstate 80, has been shelved because of lack of funding.