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Imagine York's Rt. 30 with NO Traffic Lights (Pinterest graphic, Annotated by S.H. Smith)

Imagine York’s Rt. 30 with NO Traffic Lights

Don May recalled a State proposed plan to construct a real East-West Bypass of York; i.e. four-lanes, limited access, with NO traffic lights. Don often heard details about the plan from his father, because the North Sherman Street interchange, on the proposed bypass, would have taken the house; which his father built.

Don shared: “The main interchange on the east-west bypass was supposed to be I-83. It was to be the major interchange of two four-lane highways and was supposed to be in the fields north of Rutters main farm. Local roads would access that major interchange from all directions. From the north, they’d use the Emigsville interchange of I-83. From the south, they’d use the Arsenal Road interchange of I-83. From the east, they’d use the Sherman Street interchange of the east-west bypass. From the west, they’d use the Roosevelt Avenue interchange of the east-west bypass.”

Don recalled his father often remarking, “Our house was saved because prominent locals wanted a bypass lined with businesses and signal lights. Nixing the State’s plan of a through bypass, extending into the ridges between the York and Druck valleys. In turning down an actual east-west bypass, influential locals strongly believed: We don’t want tourists merely speeding between Lancaster and Gettysburg on our bypass. We must slow them down, so they spend some time and dollars in York.” I hope that philosophy has produced a nice pile of tourist dollars, to make up for the aggravation to present locals; burdened with traveling that stretch of Route 30 around York.

Don inquired if I ever saw drawings of the bypass he described. For a while it was part of the May’s dinner table conversations; beginning about the same year I-83 opened. Using that tip and Newspapers.com, I discovered a 1959 State Highway proposal to relocate U.S. Route 30, as an East-West Bypass of York. The map for this plan matched the bypass going through the May house on North Sherman Street and agrees with his comment about the bypass extending into the ridges between the York and Druck valleys..

In 1959, a State Highway proposal to relocate U.S. Route 30, as an East-West Bypass of York, included NO Traffic Lights. (The Gazette and Daily, York, PA, October 23, 1959; page 3)

Don recalled six interchanges were discussed on the East-West bypass in York County. The York interchanges were: Sherman Street, I-83, and Roosevelt Avenue. The other three interchanges were: at Wrightsville, at Hellam, and near Thomasville.

The 1959 plan had the Wrightsville and Hellam interchanges about where they ended up with the present Route 30. However in the 1959 State proposal, heading west, after Hellam, the bypass started gradually ramping up the hillside, eventually headed west though present day Rocky Ridge Park. The following schematic shows the location where Mount Zion Road bridges the 1959 plan to relocate U.S. Route 30, as a real East-West Bypass of York.

Schematic of location where Mount Zion Road bridges 1959 proposal to relocate U.S. Route 30, as a real East-West Bypass of York (Annotated on 1956 Aerial Photo, S. H. Smith)

Don May recalls discussions about: should Mount Zion Road or Sherman Street become the site of the eastern York interchange? Ultimately the Naval Ordnance Plant had a major say in having the interchange located on Sherman Street. After all it would be a short trip out the back of their plant along Paradise Road to that interchange, and part of the bypass would take the extreme northern part of the NOP property.

Don remembered his father, at one time, having a hand drawn sketch of the Sherman Street interchange. I crafted his recollections of that sketch into the following schematic of a clover-leaf interchange at North Sherman Street, on the 1959 plan to relocate U.S. Route 30, as a real East-West Bypass of York.

No30LightsF.jpg
Schematic of clover-leaf interchange at N. Sherman St.; per 1959 proposal to relocate U.S. Route 30, as a real East-West Bypass of York (Annotated on 1956 Aerial Photo, S. H. Smith)

The western York interchange on the East-West bypass was at Roosevelt Avenue. From that point, westward, the location of the present four-lane Route 30, closely follows the 1959 proposal. The following schematic is my guess at the general layout of the clover-leaf interchange at Roosevelt Avenue, on the 1959 plan to relocate U.S. Route 30, as a real East-West Bypass of York.

Schematic of clover-leaf interchange at Roosevelt Ave.; per 1959 proposal to relocate U.S. Route 30, as a real East-West Bypass of York (Annotated on 1956 Aerial Photo, S. H. Smith)

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos in this post.

Links to related posts include:

Memories leading up to I-83 opening on October 28th 1959

4-Lane Interstate planned through Downtown York?

Proposed Extension of Elmwood Boulevard

Mystery Ice Cream Bar along the Lincoln Highway

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