South Middleton approves preliminary plan for road tied to new development

//February 14, 2017

South Middleton approves preliminary plan for road tied to new development

//February 14, 2017

Township supervisors last week approved preliminary land development plans for a long-awaited connector road, dubbed Rose Drive, that would link York (Route 74) and Trindle (Route 641) roads near Fairview Street and Middlesex Road.

Construction of the nearly one-mile long road, which was first proposed in 2005, could start later this year and would open up a 250-acre area for new development, said Tom Faley, a township supervisor.

About 150 acres is zoned for high-density residential development, with the remaining acreages split between light industrial and commercial development.

The road would be built by a group of developers in control of the land under the name Heritage Connector Road Inc. at a cost of about $6 million. A $2.6 million state grant secured by the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. would help pay for the construction. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” Faley said.

Township officials have long rebuffed development plans in that area, citing narrow local roads that would be stressed by additional traffic. Faley said the connector-road project will benefit the surrounding area, among them being improved traffic flow around the split interchange at exits 48 and 49 of Interstate 81.

“We’ll get a better flow of traffic and we’ll also get safety (from this project),” Faley said.

With steady development over the last two decades, South Middleton Township has grown to more than 15,000 residents from about 9,700.

Jonathan Bowser, CEO of CAEDC, said this is one step forward as far as solving long-range transportation issues in that area. He said there have been discussions about putting in a full interchange on I-81 because of the increased traffic in that area.

Final plans for Rose Drive should be submitted to the township in the coming months. Construction could begin by the third quarter, Faley said. The project will likely run into early 2018.