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Part of I-99 stretch from Tyrone to State College opened; adding to top stories of 2007

Another top story in 2007 was PennDOT’s opening of a stretch of 1-99 connecting drivers to a safer and quicker traveling route from Tyrone to State College.
A stretch of Interstate 99 opened December 17 to much anticipation, although the project has yet to reach total completion. Commuters presently can only travel on the new highway to the Skytop area.
According to an AP report the following morning, PennDOT District 2 opened all northbound lanes of I-99 to traffic. The southbound lanes from Port Matilda to Bald Eagle has also opened. PennDOT crews worked through the snow and ice that blanketed the area that weekend in order to get the lanes open to traffic, removing construction barrels and signs.
Commuters and long-haul truckers were whizzing over a newly opened 14-mile-section of Interstate 99 in Blair and Centre counties.
Traffic is now moving over at least part of the extension after years of delay for environmental concerns and a few extra days due to winter weather. The opening was first scheduled Thursday, December 13, but delayed until Monday by the winter storm.
According to a PennDOT press release, as motorists approach the Skytop area, the two northbound lanes will narrow into one lane, with traffic merging back onto current U.S. Route 322.
Southbound lanes in the Skytop area will remain closed to daily traffic but will continue to be used by construction vehicles. Route 322 along Skytop will remain open for local traffic and access to businesses.
Presently, motorists coming from the State College area looking to access the new stretch of I-99 must do so in Port Matilda. Regardless, the commute time will be shortened and if commuters choose to access the new stretch of I-99, it will undoubtedly eliminate traveling on Old Route 220, from Bald Eagle to Port Matilda, where traffic accidents have claimed many lives.
PennDOT has been building a more than $800 million dollar link between the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Bedford and Interstate 80 at Bellefonte for years.
Concerns about acid-producing rock unearthed just outside State College have caused delays. The state now hopes to finish the extension by the end of 2008, about a year behind schedule.
Information on the I-99 remediation can be found on the web at www.dot.state.pa.us. Click on More News & Media and choose I-99/Pyrite Information.