Improvements to ease congestion and improve safety at the intersection of Isabel Drive and state Route 72 likely will begin in April.

In December, PennDOT awarded the contract for the project to JVI Group, York Springs, said PennDOT transportation planning and program manager Carey Mullins at Tuesday’s meeting of the Technical Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

Planned are a new traffic signal, dedicated turn lanes and a bicycle lane as part of the $1.26-million project, according to PennDOT. Estimated completion is in October.

State Route 72 will remain open throughout the construction, which will occur in phases. Vehicles on Isabel Drive will have a minor detour for a couple of weeks, PennDOT spokesman Dave Thompson said in an email Wednesday. Access to businesses will be maintained.

The Isabel Drive-Route 72 intersection, along with the intersection of Wilhelm Avenue and Cornwall Road, are the final improvements identified by the master traffic study conducted as part of the North Cornwall Commons development, said Jon Fitzkee, senior transportation planner with the county planning department. 

The Wilhelm-Cornwall intersection improvements should also be completed in early fall barring weather impacts, he added. 

In other business, Fitzkee updated the committee about the county’s plans this year to use most of its Liquid Fuels funds on some of the county’s 14 bridges. 

Lebanon County received slightly less than $300,000 in Liquid Fuels funds in 2022, the most recent year available. About half of that was distributed to municipalities with the remainder supporting work on county bridges and bridge inspections, Fitzkee said.

“We want to direct these resources first at the county’s infrastructure — our bridges — and then we can help support other projects,” Fitzkee said.

County administrator Jamie Wolgemuth, who is chair of the committee, said while one bridge in Heidleberg Township will be replaced this year, two others are closed to traffic because of structural issues. 

“The rest are in need of a lot of fixes,” Wolgemuth said. “With the exception of two newer ones, our bridges are old.”

The next meeting of the Technical Planning Committee, Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization, is 9 a.m., March 12, in Room 207, Lebanon Municipal Building, 400 S. 8th St., Lebanon. The meeting is open to the public.

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