Jan 19

The intersection of Sixth Street and the Hanover Road/Route 116 on the edge of the Borough of Gettysburg. This view was taken facing east at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

Construction causes all sorts of problems for visitors, especially when it involves road closures and detours. Some of the construction projects we’ve covered in the past are done by the National Park Service, some by the Borough, and some are joint efforts that involve the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Today we’ll take a look at a road construction project set to occur near the 150th Anniversary in 2013 and some of the associated worry about that project.

We’ll begin here on Benner’s Hill. The gun in the foreground is a Parrott Rifle representing the Rockbridge Artillery (marker in right of frame). The telephone poles in the right background line Route 116, heading into the town of Gettysburg below. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

As always, Benner’s Hill provides a good view across town to Oak Ridge. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

We’ll walk over towards Route 116, near the stop sign. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

We’ve now walked to the stop sign and are looking right. If we were to head down this road, we would hit US 15 (keep that in mind). This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

Now looking left (towards town), we can see a bridge in the distance near the red car. This bridge sees quite a lot of traffic and is slated for massive repairs in July by PennDOT. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

We’ve now headed back into town, and are standing on the Hanover Road/Route 116 looking into town. The bridge that will undergo construction is behind us. So, what’s the problem with repairing a bridge in July, you ask? Shouldn’t that be done before the anniversary of the battle, one year later? This view was taken facing west at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

Unfortunately, no. The estimate for the project is 11 months. As we’ve said before, given that no construction projects (including those involving PennDOT) have been completed within their timetable since we’ve began this website, it’s unlikely that this project would be done before the 150th. And while the anniversary of the battle is certainly about commemorating soldiers and celebrating history, it’s also about making money from happy visitors — and happy visitors don’t like construction delays. This view was taken facing east at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

Local officials (both the Borough and Adams County) and the National Park Service have expressed similar concerns and have reportedly petitioned PennDOT to consider postponing the construction project until after the 150th Anniversary. Because the road connects Gettysburg to Hanover, as well as serving as one of the major exits to Gettysburg from US 15, shutting it down and detouring traffic elsewhere would likely cause major delays. While we’re here, we decided to stop by the marker in the left of this photograph (between the black traffic pole and the white structure) … This view was taken facing east at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

… which is the often overlooked headquarters marker of Lieutenant General Richard Ewell’s 2nd Corps. This view was taken facing north at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

This view was taken facing north at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

This view was taken facing north at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

The closing of this bridge is only one of a number of potential major construction projects slated to take place within the next year that we’ll be interested in following. This view was taken facing east at approximately 3:45 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.


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