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About the Project

Route 981, Section V20 is currently in the Preliminary Design phase of project development. Route 981, Section V20 extends about 3.5 miles from north of the Norvelt intersection in Mount Pleasant Township along Route 2023 to Bingham Road, just south of the intersection of Route 2023/Route 130 in Unity Township.

Anticipated Schedule*

Preliminary Design:   2020 - 2023

Final Design and Right-of-Way Acquisition: 2023 - 2025

Construction:   2026 - 2027

*Schedule subject to change due to funding availability

Farm in section 2

Route 981, Section V20 Proposed Engineering Improvements

Route 981, Section V20 is the last of three projects within the Laurel Valley Improvement Transportation Project Corridor to advance to the Preliminary Design phase. This map highlights some of the proposed improvements for this project.

Section V20 Centerline Labeled

A. The project will tie into the Route 981, Section Q20 project with a T-intersection at Route 981 just north of Windy Hill Court.

B. The roadway will continue eastward, off alignment, to connect with the existing Route 2023. The new Route 981 will then follow the current Route 2023 alignment to County Road.

C. A new bridge will be built over Welty Run.

D. The County Road/Route 2023 intersection will be stop-controlled and have dedicated left turn-lanes.

E. The alignment will shift east to avoid St. Paul’s Cemetery.

F. The Alignment shifts slightly east just south of Bingham Road to avoid impacting farmland and a floodplain mitigation area.

G. The northern terminus for the project was moved south to the intersection of Bingham Road and Route 2023 to better tie to the Route 981, Section Y10 Project.

LVTIP Corridor

Typical Section

The upgraded LVTIP corridor will include a two-lane typical section, featuring 12-foot travel lanes and eight-foot shoulders. Curves and grades will be improved throughout the corridor, and the roadway improvement will be designed to fit in with the community context.

Typical Section crop

Considering the Environment in Route 981, Section V20

The environmental resources surrounding the project area are an important part of overall project development. Once the Project Team refines the alignment, they will prepare and submit the environmental document for approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Some of the key environmental features that the Project Team identified during their research, field work, and interviews include:

  • Wetlands & Streams
  • Historic Structures
  • Archaeology
  • Agricultural Land
  • Hazardous Waste

PennDOT is required to follow NEPA on any federally funded project. NEPA compliance requires environmental resources to be evaluated using one of three types of environmental documentation. The level of documentation is determined based on the complexity of the project. Section V20 of the LVTIP requires the completion of a Categorical Exclusion (CE) environmental document during Preliminary Design. A CE is used by PennDOT when, due to the project type, complexity or area of impact, potential impacts are not expected to be significant in a project area. The studies and fieldwork required for the CE are currently underway.

The Pennsylvania Transportation and Heritage (PATH) system is an online database and communication tool to facilitate consultation between PennDOT and the public on cultural resources that may be affected by its projects. PennDOT is required by federal and state law and regulation, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, to consider the effects a project may have on historic properties and to consult with individuals and groups concerned about these potential effects.

This system provides online and instant access to all documents produced, and findings made, for all active projects, and many completed projects. The public can use this database to find projects in your area, the status of consultation, and cultural resource documentation produced on those projects to date. Anyone can sign up to hear about specific projects in their area, or specific types of projects, and can provide input to assist PennDOT in evaluating ways to avoid or minimize effects to historic properties; where adverse effects cannot be avoided the public can provide input to assist us in evaluating ways to mitigate for those effects.

View SR 981, Section V20 on PATH