New road connecting Greenfield to Route 30 will create 2,600 new jobs

Cris Collingwood//July 14, 2022

New road connecting Greenfield to Route 30 will create 2,600 new jobs

Cris Collingwood//July 14, 2022

Map of the Walnut Street Extension Project – PHOTO/PROVIDED

A planned expansion of Greenfield in Lancaster County will bring a new road to the area that will create more than 2,600 jobs and ease traffic congestion. 

High Real Estate Group (HREG) broke ground on its nearly $22 million Walnut Street Extension project Thursday along with officials from PennDOT, East Lampeter Township, and local stakeholders, including representatives of the Amish community. 

The new road, State Road 1050, is using part of the “goat path” that PennDOT bought the rights to decades ago, said Mark Fitzgerald, president and CEO, High Real Estate Group.  

The multimodal transportation project will help create new jobs from planned expansion within the industrial park, he added.  

The Walnut Street Extension Project will add a 1.2-mile, two-lane roadway connecting Greenfield, a growing, mixed-use commercial and residential development, to U.S. Route 30, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the county, he said.  

“The Walnut Street Extension Project demonstrates the potential when government, the private sector and local residents work together to solve a transportation-safety issue while preserving precious farmland, creating jobs and ensuring recreational opportunities for county residents and visitors,” he said. 

The jobs, he said, will come directly and indirectly from the planned expansion of Greenfield, which will include an apartment complex consisting of 628 units, 440 of which are planned for phase 1, and two warehouses about 225,000 square feet each.  

In addition, plans for future development include student housing, a restaurant and industrial flex space. Greenfield is home to Pennsylvania School of Health and Science and Thaddeus Stevens University. 

“The extension of the existing Walnut Street extension will give easy access for our commercial tenants and the residents of Greenfield Estates,” he said. 

Tony Seitz, vice president of development for High Associates, said the road to provide relief for the congested area has been in the works for the past 3-4 years. The new road, he said, ties into Walnut Street, giving greater access to downtown Lancaster. It is expected to decrease congestion by about 30% on Greenfield Road.  

The best part, he said, is the construction is not on the existing roadways so there will be no interruption to the public. Completion is expected by fall 2023. 

Seitz said the new road, a creative solution as he called it, was born out of the realization that Greenfield Road is at full capacity. In order to utilize the rest of the space in the 650-acre Greenfield, a new road was needed. 

“We are building a road without negatively impacting the existing residents in the area,” he said. HREG, after coordination with PennDOT, awarded the project to low-bidder Kinsley Construction. Upon completion, PennDOT will own and maintain the state roadway. 

Construction, expected to be completed by November 2023, includes a new two-lane road from the U.S. 30/Walnut Street interchange to a roundabout intersection with an extended Ben Franklin Boulevard connecting to Greenfield Road.  

The plan also calls for a new 167-foot -long, 54-footwide steel bridge and construction of a section of the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway (GLHP) just to the east of the new road. The 1.2-mile-paved GLHP trail will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists and will be constructed in a manner consistent with the Lancaster Active Transportation Plan (ATP).  

The mostly 16-foot-wide trail makes the Walnut Street Extension a truly intermodal project and is a big step towards fulfilling the vision of the ATP, Seitz said. High Steel Structures will fabricate steel girders for the bridge across Millcross Road. 

When four-lane-highway construction in the “Goat Path” was first proposed 30 years ago, it was opposed by Lancaster’s Amish farm community.  

In collaboration with East Lampeter Township, HREG leaders and PennDOT officials were able to earn Amish farmers’ support for this new multimodal plan by promoting growth within the confines of the established urban growth boundary, thereby preserving farmland while providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, Morris said.