Harrisburg-area motorists are experiencing quite a few traffic pattern changes, with more to come.
Street Commissioner Linda Mitacek hopes residents take time to adjust to all the changes in traffic patterns around Commercial Street in Harrisburg -- and have patience in the near future.
Rollie Moore Drive and Eye Center Drive will be dedicated Monday and the Wal-Mart Supercenter and other stores in Gateway Plaza will open soon, meaning a high traffic volume will shift down Commercial Street from the north end of town to the area near McDonald's and Sloan Street.
"There are new lights involved and five lanes of traffic, which will be new to Harrisburg," Mitacek said.
"We'll need to re-think for a while where we're going and how we get there."
Rollie Moore Drive stretches from Sloan Street in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter to state Route 145 between Harrisburg and Pankeyville. The street includes turns to Wal-Mart and U.S. Route 45. It loops around the Gateway Plaza parallel to U.S. Route 45. The street terminates in left and right turn lanes at state Route 145.
Included in the many new roads in the area of the new Wal-Mart is one which could create confusion for Carrier Mills, New Burnside, Stonefort and Ledford residents: One of the turns from Rollie Moore Drive onto U.S. Route 45 has a concrete slab and a right-turn lane, but not a left-turn lane for southbound motorists.
Drivers who need to turn south from Wal-Mart should use the intersection of Rollie Moore and state Route 145.
"To go to Carrier Mills or south you could go left and take Ron Morse Drive or right to the new traffic light," Mitacek said, referring to the new traffic light that will operate at the intersections of state Route 145 and U.S. Route 45.
Motorists should watch for extra traffic on Sloan Street, since an access to the new Wal-Mart Supercenter was built from the street, next to Reed Funeral Chapel.
The expansion of Commercial Street, which has been in place for a while, could also provide headaches to motorists in heavy traffic. The southbound street is two lanes to Sloan Street when the right lane turns into a turn-only lane. Then, south of the intersection with Sloan Street, the street goes to two southbound lanes again until the intersection with state Route 145, when it turns one lane again.
"The two lanes heading south on Route 45 could be a safety issue," Mitacek said. "People should be considerate of the highway going from two lanes to one lane."
On the other side of town, Eye Center Drive will open soon. The street stretches from Commercial Street to Veterans' Drive behind People's National Bank and Marion Eye Center.
Sahara Street, which begins on Small Street, will connect with Eye Center Drive.
Mitacek hopes people will use caution and patience while learning the new traffic patterns around business districts in the city.