US 15 White Deer-West Milton Bypass
The 5-mile long US 15 bypass of White Deer, New Columbia, and West Milton was begun in 1964 and finished in 1966 to take traffic off of the two-lane road through those four small towns. The old road, now Old Route 15, goes along narrow streets in those small, rural towns. The old road also runs through rural riverside farmland with 55 mph posted speed limits and connects at both ends with the ends of the bypass, which also has posted 55 mph speed limits. The new alignment is an old-style expressway with short acceleration/deceleration lanes and interchanges with PA 642, New Columbia, I-80, and White Deer. The expressway has the feel of an old modern highway without the concrete hum of today's newer freeways as it traverses the rural Union County.
Northbound at the beginning of the expressway. A narrow grass median adds a rural touch to the grassy mountain cuts around the highway.
The first town US 15 bypasses here is West Milton, the west shore version of the larger east shore town of Milton. Milton also has a bypass, the PA 147 expressway.
The grass median becomes a barrier near West Milton.
PA 642 begins at the upcoming exit and serves West Milton, Milton, and local points east. Here it is dually signed with the typical green guide signs as well as with a roadside shield.
The offramp to PA 642 is the former alignment of US 15 and meets PA 642 below the expressway.
US 15 northbound over West Milton.
The onramp from PA 642 is a half mile north of the interchange. PA 642 must use part of Old Route 15 north to get to a short ramp connecting the parallel roads. US 15 gains a wider grass median.
New Columbia is the rural town bypassed by the middle of the expressway.
I-80 meets the bypass just north of New Columbia and is announced before reaching the New Columbia exit. This sign is fairly new.
Older (original?) button copy signs remain at the New Columbia exit. US 15 connects to New Columbia Road here, which connects to Old Route 15. The I-80 & US 15 interchange reconstruction was finished in October 2002.
Construction takes us off the northbound lanes and onto the southbound lanes.
As part of the widening and bridge replacement of I-80 between New Columbia and Milton, the old green guide signs for I-180 and PA 147 were taken down. This one was removed before the exit renumbering of 2001. Exit 31A-B is now Exit 212A-B, and the interchange with US 15 was changed from Exit 30 to Exit 210.
Ground work along US 15 as the construction nears completion.
The US 15 & I-80 interchange is a classic 4-leaf cloverleaf. There is no direct connection with Old Route 15, as I-80 was opened in this vicinity when the US 15 bypass was begun.
The ramps were reconstructed, as well as the US 15 roadway.
More new pavement on US 15 northbound. The next stop on the bypass is White Deer, right next to the highway. US 15 connects to the White Deer Pike, which crosses the West Branch Susquehanna River to connect with PA 44/PA 405 in Watsontown.
At last out of the construction zone, US 15 sports a wide, grassy median with trees. To the right of the tree line on the right is Old Route 15.
The last exit on the bypass connects immediately with White Deer.
The onramp from the White Deer exit is the end of Old Route 15.
Facing in the other direction, the the north end of Old Route 15 can be seen at the left. The White Deer Pike runs under the bridges ahead.
Another view of the north end of the bypass.
I-80 signs southbound on US 15 at the cloverleaf interchange.
US 15 now has a third lane in each direction for merging in the middle of the cloverleaf. After construction cleared up, the passing lane was returned to southbound traffic.
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