As part of Preliminary Engineering, 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 Route 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 Route 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: Route 981/Route 819; Route 981/Route 2007; Route 981/Route 2021/Route 2027 (Norvelt). Visit the Roundabouts page to learn more about why they were selected for these intersections.
"The purpose of Preliminary Engineering 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 Engineering phase. Environmental review and approval also occur during the Preliminary Engineering phase. Preliminary Engineering 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 Engineering is further refined for construction. Also during this phase, tasks such as Right-of-Way acquisition, utility coordination, and environmental permitting are performed.