Improvements to Conewago Trail Crossing at Rt. 743 (Hershey Rd.)
Notice: Work planned to be completed at the Conewago Recreation Trail and SR 0743 (Hershey Road) intersection.
In July 2020, PennDOT conducted a public survey in order to gather input from trail users regarding the safety concerns at the SR 0743/Conewago Recreational Trail Crossing.
Approximately 1/3 of trail users responded that when utilizing the trail, they do not continue across SR 0743. More than 75% of these users cited safety concerns as their reason for not continuing through the crossing. Regarding trail access at this location, users indicated that their main concern was a lack of available and safe parking, especially along SR 0743.
A study was then completed by PennDOT in order to identify potential treatment options associated with the SR 0743 / Conewago Recreation Trail crossing. , A study presentation, summary report, and public comment form were posted to the PennDOT District 8-0 project Public Meeting Page following completion of the survey. The documents presented three (3) treatment options, including improved signage, post-mounted flashing beacons, and overhead flashing beacons, to address the concerns identified by survey respondents.
One-hundred and forty-eight (148) responses were received with respect to the treatment options, with the overhead flashing beacon being the preferred improvement. The three (3) treatment options, along with the results of the study and the survey, were then presented to Lancaster County and Mount Joy Township. PennDOT secured funding through their Multimodal Transportation Fund in order to proceed with the design and construction of the preferred alternative: the overhead flashing beacon.
In 2022, PennDOT began work with the project engineering team to finalize construction plans and obtain project-specific clearances and permits. During the course of the design process, additional traffic data was collected and a signal warrant analysis with more recent information was conducted. The warrant analysis concluded that overhead flashing beacons proposed in the original study were no longer sufficient and that the trail crossing of SR 0743 warrants full traffic signals.
As a result of the additional study and design work, the intersection improvements now include new traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings. The traffic signals will be used to stop oncoming traffic after the signal has been triggered by approaching trail users so that they may cross safely. Trail users will activate the signal via automatic detection sensors or by manually pressing push button activators. Advanced warning signs will be installed along the SR 0743 approaches to alert motorists to the trail crossing. In addition to the signal installation, the trail will be reconstructed and paved with asphalt on both sides of SR 0743 to provide level areas near the roadway.
Work is scheduled to begin in Late Summer 2023 and will be conducted during nighttime hours. The trail will be open for use during regular daytime hours.
The conceptual plans can be viewed at this link.
Feedback on the proposed design can be submitted here: SR743Crossing@RVE.com