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About the Project

SR 981, Section Q20 is approximately 4.5 miles and extends from the intersection of SR 981 and SR 819, just north of Mount Pleasant Borough, and ends near the intersection of SR 981 and SR 2023 in Norvelt, Mount Pleasant Township. Section Q20 primarily follows SR 981 with some offline shifts to improve the roadway. This project is advancing to construction in fall 2021.

Anticipated Schedule

Preliminary Design:  Complete

Final Design and Right-of-Way Acquisition: Complete

Construction:  2021 - 2023

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Developing the Selected Alternative

An analysis conducted during preliminary engineering examined two proposed design options for an approximately one-mile portion of Section Q20, just north of the PA Turnpike to just south of Walton’s Lane.

The two proposed design options were:

  • Online Option: Primarily follows the existing SR 981 alignment and includes widening the roadway and improvements to substandard geometric features.
  • Offline Option: Diverges from the existing SR 981 alignment north of the PA Turnpike to the west for approximately 1 mile, about 1,000 feet to the west of existing SR 981.

Each option was evaluated on the following performance measures: property, environmental and utility impacts, safety, constructability, maintaining traffic during construction, and cost considerations.

Considering the above performance measures, the Offline Option was preferred. When comparing the two options, the Offline Option would have a lower construction cost and fewer property impacts. Because the new roadway will be built offline, interruptions to existing SR 981 traffic and residents/businesses within this section of the project will be minimal during construction.

A minivan travels along sr 981

Learn More...

As part of Preliminary Design, the Design Team refined the Preferred Option to establish the final line and grade. Some refinements are as follows: 

  • Adjustments to minimize impacts to areas with a high potential for hazardous waste 
  • Accommodations for driveway connections during construction and for final driveway connections to the new roadway 
  • Adjustments to better accommodate roundabouts for SR 981 and connecting roadways 
  • Drainage and stormwater improvements
  • Reduced impacts to properties and sensitive environmental features 
  • Connections to intersecting state and local roadways as well as existing SR 981 (within the off-alignment area)

    Traffic and safety data figured heavily in the determination of preferred intersection treatments, including the three locations where roundabouts are identified: SR 981/SR 819; SR 981/SR 2007; SR 981/SR 2021/SR 2027 (Norvelt). Visit the Roundabouts page to learn more about why they were selected for these intersections.

    "The purpose of Preliminary Design is to set line, grade, and width." This essentially means that the horizontal and vertical geometry and roadway typical section is approved during the Preliminary Design phase. Environmental review and approval also occur during the Preliminary Design phase. Preliminary Design is complete and environmental clearance was obtained in November 2019. The project is now in the Final Design phase.

    During Final Design, the selected alignment that was developed during Preliminary Design is further refined for construction. Also during this phase, tasks such as Right-of-Way acquisition, utility coordination, and environmental permitting are performed.