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Interstate 99 (I-99) is an intrastate Interstate Highway entirely within central Pennsylvaniamarker. The current southern terminus is at exit 146 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-70/76) north of Bedfordmarker, where the road continues south as U.S. Route 220. The northern terminus is currently at Interstate 80 near Bellefonte, Pennsylvaniamarker. The interstate passes through Altoonamarker and State Collegemarker, home to The Pennsylvania State Universitymarker. Currently, all of I-99 runs concurrent with US 220.

Unlike most Interstate numbers, which are assigned by AASHTO to fit into a grid, I-99's number was written into Section 332 of the National Highway Designation Act of 1995 by Bud Shuster, then-chair of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the bill's sponsor, and the representative of the district through which the highway runs. The number 99 violates the AASHTO numbering convention associated with Interstate Highways. Under this system, the lowest numbers start on the West Coast progressing in order to the highest numbers on the East Coast. Interstate 99 is out of place as it lies east of Interstate 79 but west of Interstate 81.

When construction on I-99 is completed, the southern terminus of the route will be at an interchange with Interstate 68 in Cumberland, Marylandmarker. The northern terminus will be at an interchange with Interstate 86 in Corning, New Yorkmarker.

Route description

While the current road runs from Bedfordmarker to Bellefonte, Pennsylvaniamarker, future plans have this road starting from the Pennsylvaniamarker/Marylandmarker border mostly along U.S. Route 220 and then continuing northward along U.S. Route 15 towards the New Yorkmarker state line.

The names given to this road include the Bud Shuster Highway and Appalachian Thruway; the latter name continues north with US 220 and US 15.

Bedford to Altoona

Interstate 99 currently begins as a continuation of the two-lane portion of U.S. Route 220 from Maryland near the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76). The interchange with the turnpike requires drivers to get onto Old U.S. Route 220 near Bedfordmarker in order to connect to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

This route continues north towards Altoonamarker.

Altoona to I-80

From Altoonamarker, the highway has a large intersection with U.S. Route 22 in Hollidaysburgmarker. This interchange allows travellers to head west towards Ebensburgmarker, Johnstownmarker, and Pittsburghmarker. Pennsylvania Route 764 intersects further at Bellwoodmarker.

A map of the Mount Nittany Interchange.


Northward towards Tyronemarker, Interstate 99 runs along one of the older sections of the highways when U.S. Route 220 was first converted to a limited access highway.

In Tyronemarker itself, Interstate 99 is a short elevated expressway at Pennsylvania Route 453. This section is notorious for speed traps as many cars heading downhill from Bald Eaglemarker must brake in order to stay within the speed limit.

Until the end of 2007, the highway ended north of Tyrone at the village of Bald Eagle, where traffic was diverted on to U.S. Route 220. On December 22, 2007, after several long construction delays, the section from Bald Eagle to Port Matilda was opened to traffic. The remaining section to just short of Interstate 80 near Bellefonte (via the Mount Nittany Expressway) was opened to traffic the week of November 24, 2008.

History

Corridor O of the Appalachian Development Highway System was assigned in 1965, running from Cumberland, Marylandmarker (Corridor E, now Interstate 68) to Bellefonte, Pennsylvaniamarker (Interstate 80) along U.S. Route 220. The portion in Pennsylvania, from Bedfordmarker north to Bald Eaglemarker, was upgraded to a freeway in stages from 1970 to 1995.

As the interchange with the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Bedfordmarker was built long before the new freeway opened, there is no direct freeway-to-freeway access between the Turnpike (I-70/76) and I-99. Traffic must use U.S. Route 220 Business, the old alignment of US 220 before the freeway.

In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) was signed into law. It included a number of High Priority Corridors, one of which - Corridor 9 - ran along US 220 from Bedford to Williamsport, Pennsylvaniamarker, and then north on U.S. Route 15 to Corning, New Yorkmarker.

The National Highway Designation Act of 1995 amended ISTEA; among these amendments were that "the portion of the route referred to in subsection (c)(9) [Corridor 9] is designated as Interstate Route I-99." This was the first Interstate number to be written into law rather than assigned by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The number was specified by Representative Bud Shuster, who said that the standard spur numbering was not "catchy"; instead, I-99 is named after a street car, No. 99, that took people from Shuster's hometown of Glassportmarker to McKeesportmarker. (Interstate 73 and the extension of Interstate 74 had been defined in 1991 by ISTEA as the "I-73/74 North-South Corridor", but not officially added to the Interstate Highway System or assigned those numbers.)

On November 6, 1998, AASHTO approved the I-99 designation from Bedford to Bald Eagle. Since then, the connection through the Nittany Valleymarker between the existing State Collegemarker bypass on U.S. Route 322 and Interstate 80 has been built (the northernmost piece was widened from a two-lane freeway in 1997). On its completion in 2002, U.S. Route 220 was rerouted via US 322 and the new road, and the old US 220 north of US 322 was designated U.S. Route 220 Alternate.

Future

Bill S.719 of 2005, sponsored by Paul Sarbanes of Marylandmarker, would have extended Corridor O south to Corridor H in West Virginiamarker.

As defined in Federal law, I-99 is to continue north to Corning, New Yorkmarker. Signs have been placed along the present U.S. Route 220 and U.S. Route 15, much of which are built to Interstate Highway standards, marking the route as the "Future I-99 Corridor".

Maryland

The full route of I-99 is part of Corridor O of the Appalachian Development Highway System, which runs along US 220 from Interstate 68 near Cumberland, Marylandmarker north onto I-99 near Bedford, Pennsylvaniamarker.

Pennsylvania

Interstate 99 is planned to start from the Maryland border to be a continuation to the existing routing that starts in Bedford, Pennsylvaniamarker.

From Bellefonte, Pennsylvaniamarker to Williamsportmarker, plans are to have this road continue along U.S. Route 220.

From Williamsport, Pennsylvaniamarker to Corning, New York, plans are to have this road continue along U.S. Route 15 to the northern terminus.

New York

In the state of New Yorkmarker, this road is slated to continue north from Pennsylvania along U.S. Route 15 to Interstate 86/NY 17 near Corningmarker, where the freeway would then provide a link to Rochestermarker via I-390. It would then make sense for I-99 to continue in place of I-390 to Rochester, but no plans have been made yet. New reference markers installed on now US Route 15 indicate this stretch as Interstate 99 with the "99I" on the markers.

Exit list

County Location Mile # Destinations Notes
Bedfordmarker Bedford Townshipmarker 0.00 1
2.93 3
East St. Clair Townshipmarker 6.65 7
King Townshipmarker 10.13 10 Blue Knob State Parkmarker
Blairmarker Greenfield Townshipmarker 14.92 15 Claysburgmarker, King (US 220 Bus. north)
Freedom Townshipmarker 22.88 23
Allegheny Townshipmarker 28.12 28
Logan Townshipmarker 30.60 31 Plank Road (US 220 Bus.)
31.88 32
33.24 33 17th Street
Antis Townshipmarker 38.62 39
41.30 41
45.41 45 Tiptonmarker, Grazierville
Tyronemarker 47.89 48
Snyder Townshipmarker 51.84 52  – Bald Eaglemarker
Centremarker Worth Townshipmarker 61 Port Matildamarker (US 220 Alt. north)
62  – Philipsburgmarker South end of US 322 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance; northbound exit is via exit 61
Patton Townshipmarker 68 Gray's Woods, Waddle
69 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
69 Valley Vista Drive – Park Forest Southbound exit and northbound entrance
71 Toftrees, Woodycrest
College Townshipmarker 73 North end of US 322 overlap
74 Innovation Park, Penn State Universitymarker Northbound exit is part of exit 73
Benner Township 76 Shiloh Road
78A Signed as exits 78A (south) and 78B (north)
Spring Townshipmarker 80 Harrison Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
81 South end of PA 26 overlap
83
North end of freeway


References

External links




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