The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development on Friday awarded an $625,617 grant from its Local Share Account (LSA) program to Hazle Township to help fund Phase 2 of a project to improve traffic congestion and safety concerns at two intersections in Humboldt Industrial Park.
The funding is part of a $1.8 million project to increase the turning radius for commercial truck traffic and add turning lanes at the intersection of Forest Road and Maplewood Drive, and at the intersection of Maplewood Drive and White Birch Road.
“This funding is a critical part of the project and puts us one positive step closer to finalizing the intersection improvement project,” said Kevin O’Donnell, president and CEO of CAN DO, Inc.
Hazle Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Montone said he was notified of the grant approval by Senator John Yudichak. “Hazle Township is pleased that this portion of the funding of this improvement project has been allocated. Our supervisors want to acknowledge the ongoing support the township receives from Senator Yudichak, Senator John Gordner and Representative Tarah Toohil. We will continue to work with CAN DO and PennDOT in any way that we can to make our roads in the park and on Route 924 safer and less congested,” Montone said.
CAN DO has been working with PennDOT and Hazle Township for years seeking ways to reduce congestion on Route 924 and within Humboldt Industrial Park. The park has grown to more than 60 industries and 10,000 employees.
Improvements to the two intersections, along with an extension of White Birch Road, are required as a part of a much larger PennDOT project which involves extending Route 424 (the Chamber of Commerce beltway) into Humboldt Industrial Park, allowing direct access from the park onto Interstate 81. That project would reduce traffic on Route 924.
“Right now, Route 924 is the only road that leads to Humboldt Industrial Park. Once completed, the Route 424 extension will give us another entrance into the park from Interstate 81. This will not only help lessen traffic on Route 924, but will give us another way in and out of the park for emergencies,” O’Donnell said. “These are very important projects and we are very grateful for the continued support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Hazle Township Supervisors, Luzerne County, Sen. Yudichak and Rep. Toohil.”
CAN DO has begun site work for the White Birch Road extension and is preparing bid specifications for the project which should begin by September and be completed by the Fall of 2019. PennDOT is expected to begin its Route 424 extension in 2019 and be completed within two years.