I-99/US 220/US 322 Construction: US 322 Mainline
at the I-99/US 220/Park Avenue Interchange
July 14, 2002 Photos by Timothy Reichard
Some big green signs were installed over Winter 2001-2002 and have not
changed since then, or were covered up. I'll date these photos below,
and the undated ones are from July 2002.
Heading westbound on US 322, the second set of signs showing I-99/US
220 are here at the end of the onramp from PA 26. The keystone shield
is wrong for 322 on the big green sign, which should have the same shield
type as US 220, as it does on the right side of the road. The right sign
should be covered up because the interchange was not yet complete. Photo
The first set of I-99/US 220 signs are just east of the PA 26 interchange
and on the same overhead sign gantry as the PA 26 exit sign. Unfortunately,
I don't have a photo of this one, since I discovered it later.
Next, the Park Avenue exit is signed for Innovation Park and Penn State
University, along with another sign for the I-99/US 220 exit, which is
closed. Photo shot 2/3/02.
Before the I-99 interchange was begun, US 322 met Park Avenue at a diamond
interchange (the Penn State University exit). All four ramps have been
reconstructed, completed, and opened, but only one was movedthis
one, which takes US 322 westbound traffic onto Park Avenue. The US 220/I-99
north exit ramp shown in the previous photo took the place of the old
Park Avenue ramp, which has now been moved to the west side of Park Avenue.
The new (but still incomplete) US 220/I-99 bridges curve forward from
the right in this photo over US 322 and the Park Avenue ramp. Photo shot
Here is a closer view of the new bridges where the Park Avenue exit ramp
splits from the mainline. The beams are all in place, but the decks are
not complete. Photo shot 1/30/01.
The bridges cross over US 322 westbound to join in the median. I-99/US
220 southbound is above, and the onramp from Park Avenue is about to merge
from the right.
I-99/US 220 (top left), US 322 (left two ground lanes), and the onramp
from Park Avenue (right lane) all merge within a half mile. That is, 5
lanes become 2.
At the end of the descent, I-99/US 220 meets US 322 after the Park Avenue
Now down to the 4 lanes, two more end, one at a time, from the right.
Ahead in the distance, the construction zone ended, and I-99/US 220/US
322 continue as the 4-lane Mount Nittany Expressway.
Halfway through the 5-lanes-to-2 merger, US 220/US 322 is signed with
a typical flipped US 220 shield.
With the I-99/US 220 construction came the control city of Altoona. Altoona
was typically shown on signs on US 220 (Port Matilda to Milesburg), but
in late 2002, US 220 will be rerouted here, and with it, Altoona signs.
Past the construction zone, the next exit is for Toftrees and Woodycrest.
A large, new commercial complex has been built at this exit in anticipation
The next (partial) interchange is for Valley Vista Drive, which is the
last exit to reach Business US 322.
Heading back to the east, another view of the Toftrees/Woodycrest diamond
interchange shows the construction signs beginning. There is no exit for
Valley Vista Drive in this directionthere is an Atherton Street/Business
US 322 exit (another partial interchange) for that purpose.
The first hint of the I-99/US 220/US 322 split is this sign, pointing
Lewistown traffic to use US 322 and the eastern half of the Mount Nittany
A new tourist center has been built near Penn State's Beaver Stadium,
which can be reached via Park Avenue southbound.
Penn State's Research Park is accessible via Park Avenue northbound and
has recently been renamed Innovation Park (to be spiffier?).
US 322 was the mainline at the Park Avenue interchange (which
is now really a I-99/US 220/US 322 interchange on top of a US 322/Park
Avenue interchange), but I-99/US 220 has become the mainline, with the
US 322 expressway serving as the exiting road. The road widens to four
lanes, two for each expressway at the split. The US 220 and US 322 signs
have been covered up on the big green sign, and space is left for a future
I-99 shield addition. Photo shot 2/3/02.
More signs have appeared at this interchange during the Spring 2002.
The big green sign has split into two, foreshadowing what is to come.
On 5-8 Saturdays of the autumn and winter, Beaver Stadium becomes the
third most populous place in Pennsylvania. The stadium and the popular
concert arena, the Bryce Jordan Center, deserve their own sign.
I-99/US 220 have begun to split away at this point, and the next exit
is immediately to Park Avenue to the right.
The offramp to Park Avenue veers off to the right, and PA 26 is immediately
signed as the next exit, just one mile away. The Park Avenue and College
Avenue (PA 26) exits serve the State College area.
Yellow EXIT ONLY signs are new since US 322 was reconstructed. US 322
now has six lanes between PA 26 and the Park Avenue interchanges; it used
to have four.
PA 26 is the main route to I-80 for US 322 in both directions. (Well,
cars from the east could take PA 144, but trucks strictly cannot, and
would not want toPA 144 traverses a very windy and steep mountain,
up and down, a trucker's nightmare). One purpose of I-99/US 220 north
of State College is to take through traffic off the very-congested PA
26. This TO I-80 shield may disappear when I-99/US 220 is opened.