State College Area Connector Project (Routes 322/144/45) Updates

March 15, 2024

State College Area Connector Project Moving into Next Phase of Project Development

 

Clearfield, PA – Having published the State College Area Connector (SCAC) Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has requested that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) publish a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. This action would initiate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Phase of project development, which includes conducting detailed field investigations, traffic analysis, and refining engineering alternatives.

At present, the design team is conducting field investigations. These include, amongst other things, conducting agricultural operation interviews, wetlands delineations, plant and wildlife species surveys, and traffic counts. Experts in the various fields are conducting these investigations.

The design team drafted a newsletter and distributed it to stakeholders who have provided an email address throughout the public involvement process. PennDOT also posted it on the landing page at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/SCAC. Moving forward, the design team plans to distribute this newsletter quarterly.

PennDOT still anticipates hosting a public meeting this summer to present the alternative refinement from the PEL study for the Route 322 corridors as part of the SCAC project.

 SCAC Spring 2024 Newsletter


 

January 19, 2024

 

PennDOT Announces Removal of PA 45 Connection From State College Area Connector Project

Clearfield, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that it is removing the evaluation of the connection to Route 45 (PA 45 Connector) from the State College Area Connector (SCAC) project. PennDOT said the SCAC project will focus solely on the transportation needs of the Route 322 corridor moving forward.

“In listening to the feedback of our stakeholders, we’ve concluded that this is a prudent approach that follows through with one of the recommendations of the PEL Study and puts us on a path toward identifying a preferred alternative for the SCAC project,” said PennDOT District 2 Executive Tom Prestash, P.E.

Additionally, PennDOT announced that it is allocating up to $3 million to study and address safety concerns identified on Route 45 in Harris and Potter townships. The need for this study, which will be conducted independently of the ongoing SCAC project, was nonetheless identified as part of the SCAC Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study’s public input and preliminary engineering phases.

The initial study will be conducted independently of the ongoing SCAC project and focus on the section of Route 45 between Boal Avenue and the area slightly east of Old Fort. It will analyze existing conditions and identify potential safety, operational, and geometric upgrades.

PennDOT anticipates hosting a public meeting this summer to present the alternative refinement from the PEL study for the Route 322 corridors as part of the SCAC project.

PennDOT also anticipates soliciting public input throughout the Route 45 study. It will provide the timeframe for this process during the early stages of the study.


 

August 9, 2023

PennDOT releases Final PEL Report for State College Area Connector

Clearfield, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that the final Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) report for the State College Area Connector (SCAC) study is now available on the study website. Stakeholders may review the PEL report online at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/SCAC.

PennDOT partnered with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct the PEL study. The results of the PEL identify transportation alternatives to advance into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and preliminary engineering.

Moving forward, PennDOT expects to continue performing field verification of environmental features within the new study area. As part of the NEPA phase, it will refine alternative corridors to minimize impacts. It will also update traffic models to refine alignment and interchange configuration.

PennDOT anticipates scheduling a public meeting to present the refinements to the alignments in late spring of 2024.


March 30, 2023

PennDOT Announces Additional Traffic Counts for State College Area Connector Study

State College, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that it expects additional traffic counts in support of the State College Area Connector Study to start next week. This work will include crews setting up equipment to assist in counting and documenting traffic along U.S. Route 322 between Boalsburg and Potters Mills, State Route 45 between Old Fort and Boalsburg, and at key intersections along both roadways within the study area.

On Tuesday, April 4, equipment set-up will take place. Traffic counts will take place intermittently, through Wednesday, April 14.  

Equipment for the traffic counts consists of small cameras temporarily attached to existing utility or traffic signal poles. This equipment will not impact traffic along the roadways. Dependent on location, it is possible that staff will be in the field to support some traffic count activity.

 


February 16, 2023

PennDOT Releases Draft PEL as Part of the State College Area Connector Study 

State College, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that the draft PEL (Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study) for the State College Area Connector Study (SCAC) is now available on the project site at www.penndot.pa.gov\SCAC.

The SCAC study is being conducted by PennDOT in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The results of the PEL Study identify transportation alternatives to advance into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and preliminary engineering.

The Draft PEL report is being made available for public review and comment for a 30-day period. All comments must be received by the end of the day, March 19, 2023. All comments should be submitted electronically to: Dean Ball, PE at Deball@pa.gov

Comments can also be submitted in writing to: PennDOT District 2-0, 70 PennDOT Drive, Clearfield, PA 16830, Attn: Dean Ball, PE.

SCAC Study information, including the draft PEL and other documents is available at www.penndot.pa.gov/SCAC. The website is part of public outreach efforts undertaken by PennDOT and FHWA during all phases of the study.


November 30, 2022

 

PennDOT Announces Start of Traffic Counts and Environmental Field Studies for State College Area Connector Study

State College, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that it expects traffic counts in support of the State College Area Connector Study to start this week. This work will include crews setting up equipment to assist in counting and documenting traffic along U.S. Route 322 between Boalsburg and Potters Mills, State Route 45 between Old Fort and Boalsburg, and at key intersections along both roadways within the study area.

On Thursday, December 1, equipment set-up will take place. Traffic counts will take place intermittently, through December 9,  

Equipment for the traffic counts consists of small cameras temporarily attached to existing utility or traffic signal poles. This equipment will not impact traffic along the roadways. Dependent on location, it is possible that staff will be in the field to support some traffic count activity.

Additionally, beginning the week of December 12, members of PennDOT’s consultant team will be working to verify environmental features and obtain additional data within the study area along U.S. Route 322 and State Route 45. This work will continue for two weeks in December and resume in January 2023, weather permitting.

Find more information about the SCAC project at: https://www.penndot.pa.gov/scac


 

October 6, 2022

Next Round of Public Meetings Set for State College Area Connector Study

State College, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will host two public meetings in mid-October for its State College Area Connector Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study in southern Centre County. The purpose of the State College Area Connector Study is to identify existing and projected transportation needs within the study area. The study is being done by PennDOT in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Information on the study is regularly updated and can be found at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/SCACDuring these meetings, PennDOT will provide an update on the data collection efforts, traffic analyses, and the current recommended alternatives.

Meeting details are:

  • Wednesday, October 19 and Thursday, October 20 at the Mount Nittany Middle School, near Boalsburg. Hours each night are 5:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Set-up for the meetings will include plans displays, a PennDOT PowerPoint presentation at 6:15 PM, and Q & A with the audience. Displayed plans can be reviewed anytime during the public meetings. Those who wish to speak or ask questions after the formal presentation will be asked to fill out speaker cards, which will be available at the meeting.

The public meeting materials and exhibits will be presented in English. If you need communication accommodations, or an interpreter, or have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call PennDOT’s District 2-0 Public Information Office at (814) 765-0423 for assistance. Please be aware that advance notice is requested as some accommodations may require additional time.

 


 

September 16, 2022

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has made an update available on recommended alternatives for its State College Area Connector Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study. A presentation outlining each recommended alternative can be seen at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/SCAC. The link is listed under the “What’s new on the SCAC PEL Site”. The presentation also includes purpose and need, environmental impacts, traffic analysis and planning impacts.

These same recommended alternatives will be displayed and reviewed as part of the next public meetings--tentatively set for the evenings of October 19 and 20 at the Mount Nittany Middle School in Boalsburg. More specific meeting details will be shared as plans evolve.

The purpose of the State College Area Connector Study is to identify existing and projected transportation needs within the study area. The study is being done by PennDOT in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

 


 

September 9, 2022

SAVE THE DATE: PennDOT is encouraging the public to "Save the Date" for the next round of public meetings on the State College Area Connector Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study in southern Centre County. 

The next public meetings are tentatively set for the evenings of October 19 and 20 at the Mount Nittany Middle School in Boalsburg. More specific details will be shared as plans evolve.

The purpose of the State College Area Connector Study is to identify existing and projected transportation needs within the study area. The study is being done by PennDOT in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Up-to-date information on the study can be found at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/SCAC.

 


April 20, 2022

SCAC Public Meeting Overview: 801 attendees and 136 Comment Cards received as of 4/20/22. Key items of note from comment cards include:

  • Groundwater, specifically Cedar Run, Hidden Lake Estates
  • Corridors bisecting farms
  • Increasing traffic causing potential safety issues on PA 45
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Noise and air pollution
  • Tussey Mountain and associated recreational activity
  • Calvary Church property impacts

 

April 20, 2022 SCAC Presentation to CCMPO Coordinating Committee

 


March 14, 2022

PennDOT has announced that in-person public meetings for the State College Area Connector project have been scheduled for:

DATE:               Tuesday, April 5, 2022
TIME:                 3:00-8:00 pm
LOCATION:      Calvary Church
                          150 Harvest Fields Drive
                           Boalsburg PA

DATE:               Wednesday, April 6, 2022
TIME:                3:00-8:00 pm
LOCATION:      Centre Hall Fire Station
                          134 North Witmer Avenue
                          Centre Hall PA

 

The same information will be presented at both meetings and attendees may come to either meeting.

Information will include updated mapping of environmental and community features, revised traffic analyses, and refinements to the Build Alternative corridors that have been made since the September 2021 public meetings. The meetings will be held in an open house format, with PennDOT and project team members available at individual stations to explain the information, answer questions, and receive comments.

In late March/early April, the information will also be posted on the SCAC project website at: www.PennDOT.gov/SCAC .  Officials and the public are encouraged to provide input to PennDOT either at the public meetings or through the SCAC website. 

 


 

September 9, 2021

PennDOT has announced that a public meeting for the State College Area Connector project has been scheduled for:

DATE:             Wednesday, September 22, 2021

                        Thursday, September 23, 2021

TIME:               Between 1:00-8:00 pm on both days

LOCATION:    Wyndham Garden Hotel

                        310 Elks Club Road

                        Boalsburg PA

 

The public meeting will include information about environmental and community features, the range of alternatives studied to date, and preliminary alternative improvements. The public meeting will be held in an open house format, with PennDOT and project team members available at individual stations to explain the information, answer questions, and receive comments.

The information being presented at the public meeting is also available on the project website at: www.PennDOT.gov/SCAC . Links to the meeting materials can be found in the “What’s New” box at the top of the landing page, and also through the “In-Person Public Meeting” icon at the bottom of the landing page.

Officials and the public are encouraged to provide input and comments to PennDOT either at the public meeting or through the website.

A project newsletter is linked here for your information.

 


 

June 22, 2021

At the June 9 and June 22, 2021 CCMPO Meetings, the State College Area Connector (SCAC) consultant team provided a presentation on the latest activities for the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study. The PEL Study is scheduled to be completed in spring 2022. The study will identify transportation improvements to be advanced for environmental consideration and further design in the next step, the Preliminary Engineering (PE) phase. The PE phase will include a more detailed analysis of the study area’s socio-economic, natural, and cultural resources; the development and evaluation of transportation alternatives; the identification of a preferred alternative; and obtaining environmental clearance for the preferred alternative.

PennDOT’s consultant team is currently developing a range of alternatives to address the purpose and need, and the alternatives will be displayed during the next public meeting scheduled for late August and early September 2021. Plans are underway to offer both virtual and in-person opportunities for interaction with the project team during the public meeting period. No specific alternative improvements for the SCAC project have been developed at this time.

The first public meeting for the PEL Study was held virtually from October 28 through November 4, 2020 and included information about the transportation purpose and needs in the study area. The SCAC Purpose and Need document is available on the project website - www.penndot.gov/scac 

State College Area Connector Project - June 22 Presentation

June 22, 2021 CCMPO Coordinating Committee meeting - skip to 00:41:42 


 

October 20, 2020

PennDOT and its consultant team, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has scheduled a virtual public meeting for the State College Area Connector (SCAC) Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study. According to PennDOT, the PEL study will identify existing and projected transportation issues within the SCAC study area through engineering and environmental investigations and public and stakeholder engagement; create a transportation vision; and identify viable solutions to address the transportation needs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public meeting is being held virtually via the PennDOT study webpage at www.PennDOT.gov/SCAC, beginning Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 5:30 P.M. and continuing through 11:59 P.M. on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. The virtual public meeting will present the study purpose, study needs, environmental and engineering features within the study area, and provide an opportunity to comment on the study materials.

Questions and/or written comments may be submitted by mail to PennDOT District 2-0, Attention: Dean D. Ball, P.E., 70 PennDOT Drive, Clearfield, PA, 16830; via email to deball@pa.gov; or online on the study webpage. All comments on the virtual public meeting materials must be received by Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

The virtual public meeting materials and exhibits will be presented in English. If you need communication accommodations, or an interpreter, or have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call the PennDOT District 2-0 Public Information Office at (814) 765-0423 by Monday, October 26, 2020, for assistance. Please be aware that advance notice is requested as some accommodations may require additional time.


The CCMPO staff encourages local officials and members of the public to participate in the virtual public meeting for this important transportation project.


 

August 27, 2020 Update

PennDOT launched the State College Area Connector project website. Interested individuals can sign up for future updates and offer input here: https://www.penndot.gov/scac 

Input from the public is important in identifying resources in the study area early in the process. Doing so will allow time to develop potential solutions that avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts to these resources. As the study moves forward, PennDOT encourages area residents, drivers, and all interested parties to review the study information and offer feedback. 


 

August 4, 2020 Update

At its meeting on August 4, 2020, the CCMPO Coordinating Committee received a presentation regarding the five-phase process of the development of the State College Area Connector (SCAC) project from Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, the project design consultant team retained by PennDOT. Below are three links regarding information related to this presentation.


July 26, 2019 Update

  • On June 25, 2019, the CCMPO Coordinating Committee voted unanimously to amend the 2019-2022 Centre County Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to add $20 million for the Preliminary Engineering (PE) phase of the SCAC project. The TIP amendment has been processed by PennDOT and funding is now officially committed for the PE phase.
  • PennDOT Engineering District 2-0 is retaining a project management consultant to assist the District in managing the PE phase. The consulting firm Michael Baker International has been selected by PennDOT to lead the project management effort. The Michael Baker team is expected to be under contract in early August.
  • PennDOT District 2-0 is retaining a project design consultant team to complete the PE phase. PennDOT will be evaluating letters of interest from prospective teams and selecting a design consultant in fall 2019. The project design consultant team is expected be under contract by early 2020. The PE work will begin in early 2020.

The PE phase includes completion of a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) process, and preliminary engineering/design work. No specific alternatives for the SCAC project have been developed at this time. The PEL process and PE phase comprise the first steps in PennDOT’s project development process, and through these steps, alternative improvement(s) will be developed and evaluated; a preferred alternative identified; and environmental clearance obtained for the preferred alternative.

Information collected through PennDOT’s Route 322/144/45 Corridors Data Refresh effort will be utilized in the PEL process and preliminary engineering work.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Principal Transportation Planner, Tom Zilla at tzilla@crcog.net or call our office at 814-231-3050


 (Previous updates)

The Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) coordinates transportation planning in Centre County. The CCMPO works with PennDOT, the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), and the Centre County Office of Transportation Services to prepare a Long-Range Transportation Plan and a short-range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which outline how federal and state funds will be used for road, bridge, and public transit projects.

The CCMPO is considering a proposed amendment to the 2019-2022 Centre County TIP to add $20 million in state funds for PennDOT to complete the Preliminary Engineering phase of the State College Area Connector project (Route 322/144/45 Corridors). The proposed TIP amendment will be available for a 30-day public comment period that begins on Friday, May 3, 2019 and concludes at 12:00 noon on Monday, June 3, 2019.

Information about the TIP amendment can be viewed during normal business hours at the offices of the Centre Regional Planning Agency, CATA’s Customer Service Center on East Beaver Avenue in State College, the Schlow Centre Region Library, Centre County Planning and Community Development Office in Bellefonte, the Philipsburg Borough Building, the Snow Show Borough Building, the Harris Township Municipal Building, the Potter Township Municipal Building, and the Centre Hall Area Branch Library. Translation services are available upon request.

Citizens are encouraged to provide comments in writing, via the CCMPO website, or at the May 15 public meeting:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Cafeteria
Mount Nittany Middle School
656 Brandywine Drive
State College, PA 16801
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The CCMPO Coordinating Committee will consider approving the TIP amendment at its meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Patton Township Municipal Building, 100 Patton Plaza, State College, PA.

For more information or to provide comments, contact Tom Zilla, Principal Transportation Planner, Centre Regional Planning Agency, 2643 Gateway Drive, Suite 4, State College, PA 16801; Phone: (814) 231-3050; Fax (814) 231-3083; E-mail: tzilla@crcog.net.


 

-Access the SCCCTS Refresh Summary Report presented to the Coordinating Committee on April 23, 2019

 
-State College Area Connector TIP Amendment Fiscal Constraint Chart

 


 

Below is the link to the Public Comment Form that was provided to the public during the May 15, 2019 Public Meeting. The PDF can be filled in electronically and sent to mbell@crcog.net.

If you do not have access to email, you may print the form out and mail it to the office at:

Centre Regional Planning Agency
ATTN: Marcella Bell, Office Manager
2643 Gateway Drive
Suite 4
State College, PA 16801

Our office also has these comment forms available for citizens to pick up.

 
   

Proposed TIP Amendment - State College Area Connector Public Meeting Survey