I-99/US 220/US 322 Construction: Mount Nittany Expressway/Park Avenue Interchange

July 14, 2002 Photos by Timothy Reichard


(Click to enlarge)

Let's kick off the Park Avenue Interchange coverage with a great panoramic shot, taken from the top of the hill on the southern corner of the interchange, where Penn State medical center stands. Click on this photo for a large (190 KB) photo.

 

Park Avenue northbound has new, permanent signs for the interchange. Park Avenue first meets US 322. The two bridges light-colored in the background carry US 322, which serves as the Mount Nittany Expressway and State College bypass. The photos below follow Park Avenue northbound, away from Penn State's University Park campus.

 

The interchange is in the middle of Happy Valley and Penn State, which is important enough here for a custom orange construction sign. The Park Avenue exit is the exit for the Pennsylvania State University and for its research park, now called Innovation Park.

 

A new mileage sign is shown, which includes Altoona. Before I-99 construction began in the area, Altoona was not signed as a control city anywhere in the area—US 220 to the west served Altoona. US 220 will be moved to the State College area starting in late 2002. The sign below JCT is a flipped US 220 shield—flipped because the relocation is waiting until this interchange and the ones to the north are complete. To the right of that sign is space left for an eventual I-99 shield.

 

The back side of the previous sign assembly.

 

A second JCT US 220 shield is posted ahead before the onramp to US 322 eastbound. Three bridges can now be seen. The two light-colored ones carry US 322, and the darker, higher bridge carries I-99/US 220. The two highways merge/split just to the left of this interchange.

 

The back side of the previous sign assembly.

 

A closer view of the first ramp to US 322. The offramp to Park Avenue meets this intersection from the left.

 

Panning left, that offramp from US 322 eastbound. The traffic signals are off to the right.

 

The view along the offramp. The onramp back to US 322 is straight ahead. Next we turn left, back onto Park Avenue northbound.

 

This bridge is the second overpass of US 322. Just past it is the onramp to I-99/US 220/US 322 westbound. The previous onramp was to US 322 eastbound. Where did I-99/US 220 enter? In the middle of the interchange. This interchange is really two interchanges on top of each other.

 

Facing to the right, just past both overpasses, part of the old offramp from US 322 remains. US 322 used to meet Park Avenue at a diamond interchange. This ramp was moved to a cloverleaf to make room for the I-99/US 220 bridges.

 

Just ahead, the tall, curved bridges of I-99/US 220 tower over Park Avenue. Lots of up-close photos of the bridges are on the I-99/US 220 Bridges page.

 

Here is a closer view of the overhead signs. Most of the words and shields are covered up, with the exception of US 322 west and Innovation Park, which currently are the only two places one can reach from here. The left sign actually says SOUTH / [blank space for I-99] [US 220] / [US 322] West, and the next sign will read NORTH / [blank space for I-99] [US 220] / TO [I-80]. The last two signs both say Innovation Park, but I haven't figured out why there are two signs and two exits for it. Park Avenue used to dead-end in the research park.

 

The new cloverleaf offramp and a relocated onramp meet Park Avenue at the next intersection.

 

Another view of the ramps, which have a short barrier between them.

 

Now let's approach the interchange from the north side. This section of Park Avenue is not yet completed.

 

An overhead gantry shows the first exit to US 322, which will soon be I-99/US 220/US 322. Through traffic continues to the rest of the interchange and then to Penn State.

 


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