I-99/US 220 Construction: Innovation Park Interchanges

July 14, 2002 Photos by Timothy Reichard

 

Before I-99/US 220 construction began, US 322 met Park Avenue at a simple diamond interchange. US 322 is the State College bypass (also known the Mount Nittany Expressway). Park Avenue was a two-lane road that served Penn State to the south and Penn State's Research Park to the north, dead-ending in that small complex of buildings. When I-99/US 220 plans were drawn to connect the new interstate to US 322 at the Park Avenue interchange, the I-99/US 220 & US 322 connection demanded changes to the Park Avenue interchange. These changes include converting Park Avenue to a 4-lane, divided highway and building 5 interchanges (2 full and 3 partial) to replace the original. These interchanges are:

  1. US 322 & Park Avenue (full interchange, as before, but revamped)
  2. I-99/US 220 & US 322 (full high-speed interchange connecting the three roadways I-99/US 220/US 322, I-99/US 220, and US 322)
  3. I-99/US 220 & Park Avenue (partial interchange, with Park Avenue extended north to meet the interstate)
  4. (South) Park Avenue & Innovation Park (partial interchange, old access to Innovation Park, now uses ramps)
  5. (North) A new Innovation Park connector & Park Avenue (three-quarter interchange, I think, for access to I-99/US 220 to/from the north)

These changes significantly promote two-lane Park Avenue to a four-lane highway with interchanges where it is the mainline.

Since there are two interchanges for Innovation Park along Park Road, I will refer to #4 as the South Interchange and #5 as the North Interchange.


The Innovation Park South Interchange

 

Heading north on Park Avenue and leaving the I-99/US 220/US 322 mess behind, the first exit (at the right) is for the South Interchange, where Park Avenue used to tie directly into Innovation Park. The two lane road at the right is the new road to Innovation Park. When construction is completed, it will be a one-way ramp; now during construction, it is a two-way road because the other ramp is not yet complete. The open ramp curves left and passes over Park Avenue to connect to Innovation Park on the left.

 

These signs are for the North exit, but the photo shows the bridge over Park Avenue.

 

Here is a closer view, which also shows the onramp to Park Avenue from Innovation Park.

 

Taking the South exit and continuing over the bridge, the road meets Innovation Park. The outbound lanes have recently been paved.

 

From the bridge, Park Avenue looks like this. The outbound ramp enters from the right.

 


The Innovation Park North Interchange

Continuing northbound on Park Avenue, north of the South exit, ramps from newly extended Park Avenue meet here and connect to the new Innovation Park connector.

 

Here is a zoomed-in view of the right ramp. Park Avenue passes over the new connector, which runs left and right.

 

One more view of the distant interchange. I-99/US 220 runs a little off to the right, out of the photo's view.

 

Here is a closer view of the North Interchange. The lower ramp connects the connector to Park Avenue southbound.

 

Here is a view of that ramp (still unpaved) meeting Park Avenue.

 

This overpass carries Park Avenue over the new connector. This photo is taken from the top of a mound, which blocks out the onramp of the last photo.

 

In the distance, next to Park Avenue, is I-99/US 220. The overhead signs probably read something like: (left) Exit 73 / US 322 EAST / Lewistown, and (right) SOUTH I-99 US 220 WEST US 322 / Philipsburg / Altoona. The white area at the bottom of the photo is the Park Avenue pavement on its overpass.

 

This is the west end of new connector road on the north side of Innovation Park. For now, the pavement just ends.

 

Just north of the North interchange, Park Avenue's lanes split. Curving left are the southbound lanes, which just left I-99/US 220 a little around the bend. To the right is an overpass (actually there are two) carrying I-99/US 220 over the northbound lanes of Park Avenue, which soon curve to the left out of view and merge with the interstate.

 

Here is a closer view of that distant overpass.

 

 


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