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Route 228 plans called dead-ends

| Thursday, Nov. 6, 2003

Randy Rawa of Adams has an idea about what to do with Route 228: Leave it the way it is.

"I would prefer to see them leave it congested to inhibit future development," said the 38-year-old.

Rawa was one of more than 300 people at a public meeting Wednesday at Mars Area Middle School to highlight options for the Route 228 improvement project.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has whittled the options from 18 to five, with price tags ranging from $120 million to $180 million. Plans vary, from widening the existing road to several bypass routes in the Mars Area School District.

Reaction was mixed at the meeting.

"It's a ridiculous Catch 22. You improve the infrastructure -- which creates development and more traffic -- and then you have to improve the infrastructure," Rawa said.

One of the options threads the road between Mars Area High School and John Quincy Adams Estates, where Rawa lives.

Residents say the plans won't necessarily make life better.

Marien Evans, for example, said she believes the changes could make reaching Route 19 from her Seven Fields home more difficult.

"To get from my house to Route 19, I'll have to make a circuitous path," she said. "And so will lots of other people right in front of my house."

One proposed route would cut through Frank Hibbs' Middlesex neighborhood. Even if that alternative isn't adopted, Hibbs said, he still isn't sold on the project.

"Some of the things they are projecting don't really make sense," the 34-year-old said. "I don't understand. ... A couple of things look silly at the Route 19 and 228 end."

Another proposal would split Route 19 near its intersection with Route 228. Dutilh Road would serve as the northbound lane of Route 19.

Jack Havarilla, 42, of Adams, said the project wasn't even on the "radar three years ago" when he moved into John Quincy Adams Estates.

"I know a lot of people that wouldn't have moved in if they had known about this," Havarilla said.

PennDOT says improvements to Route 228 are needed because traffic on the road could swell to 60,000 vehicles daily by 2030. An average of 21,000 motorists use the western-most portion of the road each day, the department said. On the eastern side, about 18,000 motorists use Route 228 daily.

Work has been scheduled to begin in 2008.

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