Cranberry's Transportation Plan
The northern sections of the tunnel have been installed and work is progressing. As weather permits, the new structure will be backfilled. The Township is anticipating a completion of the project in early to mid summer 2021.
Rapid growth in Cranberry’s population and economy have led to a corresponding growth in traffic. To keep that traffic moving safely, our comprehensive plan, adopted in 2009, prioritized a series of projects to create a community with high-quality traffic management systems including dedicated turning lanes, adaptive traffic signals, parallel local roads, well-aligned intersections, and rapid response to incidents.
Traffic levels associated with different land use zones are matched to transportation investment, frequently in partnership with developers and other government agencies. In addition, the Township is extending its pedestrian network and working with county agencies as well as private transportation companies to establish public transit service between Cranberry and key destinations throughout the region.
- A Route 228 Transportation Plan was outlined in 1995 as part of the first Township Comprehensive Plan.
- The plan aimed to address expected growth that was anticipated over 30 years.
- Much work has been done along the Route 228 corridor since then, including improving ramps onto Interstate 79 and widening at Route 19 and Freedom Road.
- The MSA Thruway is the next step in that plan, with an additional eastbound travel lane part of future plans.
- A tunnel will be constructed beneath Route 228 connecting I-79 to Cranberry Springs. Traffic will be maintained on Route 228 throughout the project.
- A roundabout will be constructed at the approach to the tunnel from I-79.
- The project includes sidewalks and bikes lanes that aim to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
- The project is expected to break ground in spring 2020, with completion set for winter 2021.
- 700 vehicles per hour will use the Thruway instead of Route 228 during peak evening times.
- 1,280 vehicles will use the free-flow lane from Interstate 79 Northbound onto the Thruway at peak morning times.
- The queue from I-79 Northbound will be reduced by 40 percent during peak morning hours.
- Eastbound traffic on Route 228 at the Cranberry Springs/Cranberry Woods intersection will be reduced by 30 percent. Average delays will be reduced by 33 percent.
- During peak morning hours, 1,350 vehicles per hour (22 percent) will use the MSA Thruway instead of Route 228. This will reduce the “weave” condition at the merge on Route 228.
- Overall traffic on Route 228 between I-79 and Cranberry Springs/Cranberry Woods will be reduced by 22 percent during peak morning hours and 10 percent during peak evening hours.
- The project could spur the creation of 2,300 full-time jobs and more than 4,000 temporary construction jobs.
- A $12,048,068.12 contract with Allegheny Excavating Inc. was approved in November for the project.
- MSA donated $3.5 million worth of land for the project.
- About $6.7 million of the project cost will come from the Butler County Infrastructure Bank, which provides low-interest loans for projects in the county. The project was awarded the funds in December 2018.
Traffic signal patterns change January 7, 2015
Re-timing of traffic signals along four major corridors was coordinated to follow the completion of two major PennDOT projects -- the $14,785,394 million I-79 Ramps project; and the $3,629,616 Rt. 19 / Rt. 228/Freedom Road intersection improvement project, as well as several large scale private developments (Cardinal Wuerl-North Catholic High School and the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex).
This re-timing involves traffic signals at 34 intersections in the multi-municipal system and the sequence of signals at eight of these intersections, spanning Cranberry, Marshall and Adams Townships and the Borough of Seven Fields.
Traffic signals include Rt. 19, from Thorn Hill Road to Rowan Road; Route 228 from Rt. 19 to Heritage Creek; and Freedom Road from Powell Road to Route 19. Rochester Road from Haine School Road to Rt. 19 were retimed by the Township.
These traffic signals are operated by a Traffic Operations Center (TOC), a flexible, state-of-the-art facility using signal management software to control traffic within and adjacent to Cranberry. The signals are part of a centrally based system communicating through a fiber optic network with remote observation cameras and are capable of seamlessly implementing the recommendations of the study’s findings. Learn more about the TOC
Thanks to the SPC and their consultant, Whitman, Requardt and Associates in Seven Fields, as well as our neighboring municipalities, and PennDOT, for their continued efforts to provide the most efficient traffic signal timing plans for our communities. Cranberry Township was cited in the award winning study by Traffic 21 at CMU. Additional funding has been awarded to Cranberry in the form of ARLE Grants to begin implementing adaptive signal technology on Freedom Road and Route 228 and a Green Light-GO Grant to prepare emergency closure contingency plans for the system.
Route 19 / Freedom Road / Rt. 228 December 11, 2014
As part of the final phase of the Freedom Road Improvement Project, a new and improved traffic signal was activated at the intersection of Route 19 / Route 228 / Freedom Road.
This major crossroad in Cranberry Township handles up to 120,000 vehicles in an average day and was upgraded to include dual lefts, dual throughs, and a right turn lane in each direction. This allows the signal timing to be optimized with concurrent eastbound and westbound movement on Freedom Road and Route 228.
East and westbound advance dual left turns now occur simultaneously on Route 228 and Freedom Road, followed by east and westbound through movements. This change in the current signal operation made the intersection operate more efficiently. This $3,629,616 intersection improvement project was constructed by S.E.T. Inc. and managed by PennDOT.
I-79 Ramps November 13, 2014
Previously, westbound drivers on 228 wishing to enter I-79 in either direction turned left across traffic to get onto the Interstate’s on-ramps. Traffic flow was significantly improved with the opening of new ramps on the northern side of 228, linking it to the Interstate. The result: more green time for thru traffic.
Cranberry Woods October 17, 2014
Traffic exiting MSA’s Cranberry Woods Business Park onto Rt. 228 previously used three lanes – one right turn for eastbound traffic, one left only, and one combined left and straight lane. However, a straight-ahead lane was lacking. With the completion of the Cranberry Crossroads project on the north side of 228, Cranberry Springs Drive opened, across from Cranberry Woods Drive, continues north to Mars Road.
As the I-79 ramps project nears completion, the final phase of the Cranberry Woods/Cranberry Springs project – the third left turn lane out of Cranberry Woods Drive - has been completed.
The new “Triple Lefts” exiting Cranberry Woods Drive to Route 228 is the first of its kind in Cranberry Township to provide additional capacity for over 1,000 vehicles per hour exiting Cranberry Woods each evening. For maximum efficiency, all three left turn lanes can be used to exit Cranberry Woods.
Suggested Lane Usage :
Triple Left Turn Lanes
- The left most lane is recommended for traffic to Route 228 westbound destined to Route 19 and Freedom Road.
- The center lane is recommended for traffic to I-79 South destined to the PA Turnpike, Pittsburgh and points south.
- The right most lane is recommended for traffic to I-79 North to Zelienople and points north.
- A through lane is provided to Cranberry Springs Drive as well as a right turn lane to Route 228 eastbound to Mars and points east.
Franklin Road July 30, 2014 (re: North Catholic project)
Northbound traffic along Franklin Road at its intersection with Rt. 228 will soon have a dedicated left turn lane, mirroring the road’s pattern on the opposite side of the highway. That will enable the traffic light there to signal protected left turns onto 228 for Franklin Rd. travelers going both directions. The proposed Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, which is building its new campus on the northeast corner of that intersection, will have its own access point on Franklin, north of its intersection with 228. The school project would also create a connector road, Hillmont Drive, at the Mars Rd. and Franklin Rd. intersection. The existing intersection of Franklin and Old Mars Crider Roads will be converted to a right in/ right out design.
Cranberry Springs Drive July 24, 2015
This office, retail and restaurant development adjacent to Cranberry Commons includes a new road, Cranberry Springs Drive, connecting with 228 at the intersection with Cranberry Woods Drive. Cranberry Springs also intersects with an extension of the service road which parallels 228 in front of Cranberry Commons. It then continues north to Mars Road, and accommodates bicycle and foot traffic. Cranberry Springs Drive provides access to the Cranberry Springs Development, including the UPMC/Penguins Facility. New turning lanes were added to 228 for traffic approaching the Cranberry Springs Dr. intersection from both directions. New westbound thru lanes were added between Cranberry Springs Dr. and I-79 to tie into PennDOT’s I-79 ramp project.