By Marissa Rosa
Over the next five years, many KU commuters will face delays on Route 22 as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation begins construction on a project that will add a lane to both eastbound and westbound sides over a 4.5 mile stretch east of campus.
The process began in September where road crews started working at night only to clear away tress, utility poles, and other objects on the side of the highway to make room for the additional lanes. The heavy construction will begin in January and the project is estimated to cost about $232.2 million, according to PennDOT.
Taking place in the area of the Lehigh Valley Mall, PennDOT will be widening the highway from four lanes to six. The stretch that will be widened begins from 15th Street east to Airport Road. The construction will be taking place over three townships: Whitehall, South Whitehall, and Hanover.
KU senior Katherine Meola, who commutes 50 minutes from Easton, said she is nervous about the added construction, but feels that the expansion is necessary and should help traffic in the long run.
Another commuter, KU junior Olivia Bush, said that in the long run it would be convenient to have another lane added. But Bush, who commutes to school from Nazareth every day, she said she wishes the project wouldn’t take so long.
“Five years for a less than five mile addition does not seem worth the hassle,” she said.