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Construction complete on westbound lanes of Route 283, more work coming in the spring

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There's good news for drivers this week.

Construction on the westbound lane of Route 283 from Toll House Road to Harrisburg is complete for now.

But this it is only one part of a much larger project to clean up Route 283 as a whole.

If you've left home knowing you had to take Route 283 from Toll House Road into Harrisburg over the past several months, you probably gave yourself some extra time.

Quavon Dello-Stritto said he certainly has.

"It was definitely a problem constantly, and the rain made it worse," Dello-Stritto explained.

"It was terrible for a minute," another driver said.

Since March, the roughly 50,000 drivers who took it every day were forced to chose between two one-lane roads.

"It was terrible trying to swerve between roads and blockage coming up and down," Dello-Stritto said.

But as of Wednesday, there's a new traffic pattern people are happy about. 283 West is a clean drive. No more narrow roads, no more construction signs or trucks.

"Probably in a weeks time, we'll get the eastbound, the two lanes where they should be in the east-bound roadway," Greg Penny, a PennDOT spokesman, explained.

The bad news is, the construction won't be gone forever, because they're doing the same thing on the eastbound side in the spring.

"We basically flip it the other way," Penny said. "That is, we will rebuild eastbound 283, put the express lane on the westbound roadway and so that will be the emphasis next year."

All of this is part of a $89.4 million project slated to be finished in the spring of 2020.

"It will be cleaner and much more straight forward for everybody," Penny explained.

The final product will also mean cleaning up the bridges surrounding the highway, repaving the roads to fix potholes, adding lighting and new rain gardens to manage storm water.

"That's the good thing about it," Aaron Johnson said. "You hate it while it's going on it, but then it helps you later on. Down the line."

At this point the crews are ahead of schedule. A lot of rain this year made them question the timeline, but PennDOT officials said crews were able to get the job done.

It should be a smooth winter, but keep a look out for new traffic patterns again in march.

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