The large orange barrels are gone and the road surface is wide, smooth and painted. The five lanes of traffic on busy Route 94 on the north end of Hanover are moving swiftly.
They're all signs that a state Department of Transportation road-widening and improvement project for Route 94, also known as Carlisle Street, is all but completed.
Road work for the $10.8 million project, which included expanding Carlisle Street from Kuhn Drive/Dart Drive to north of the Gateway Hanover shopping center, was quietly wrapped up this week after the final installation of handicap-accessible ramps for sidewalks in the borough.
"The major construction work is completed," said Michael Crochunis, spokesman for PennDOT.
Crochunis said the contractor, J.D. Eckman Inc., of Atglen, Pa., still has some "off the roadway" improvements such as mulching and seeding to complete.
"The contractor informed us they have a few weeks of work left. The road surface is in effect done," said Crochunis, adding that the state expects to do a final inspection on the site in the next few weeks.
The project covered 2.5 miles from Elm Avenue in the borough to Appler Driver in Adams County. It included the addition of two new through lanes from Dart Drive to Hanover Street, expanding that section to two northbound, two southbound and one turning lane.
A third lane was added to the short stretch from Hanover Street to Appler Road and there were major improvements and a redesign of the intersection of Eisenhower Drive and Carlisle Street.
The contractors also installed handicap-accessible ramps at several intersections and guardrails, and replaced drainage pipes, culverts and the bridge structure over Slagle Run.
Crochunis said the additional lanes should greatly improve traffic flow on that stretch of roadway, which handles on average about 23,300 vehicles daily.
"It's overall a very good project for commercial businesses through the area. It will move traffic through there more safely," Crochunis said.
The project's completion is welcome news for many retail owners and commercial developers along Carlisle Street who have seen traffic disrupted for more than a year.
"A lot of people got frustrated with where to come in and out," said Meghan Bare, co-owner of the Broken Cookie Bakery & Coffee House in the Clearview Shopping Center on Carlisle Street. "It's a whole lot better now, not having the dust and the dirt and with the cones removed."
"It's a long time coming," said Gary LeFevre, property manager for Conewago Contractors, which under Conewago Northridge Partners is developing the Gateway Hanover shopping center north of town. "Everything went real well. Eckman did a great job.
"Everything is operational now. Everybody is happy, businesses are happy out there," LeFevre said.
Preliminary work on the project began in the fall of 2010 and while three lanes of traffic remained open for much of the construction, there were bottlenecks along the route at times.
"I think the congestion was difficult for people coming down Route 94. It did become congested and difficult," said Christina Walsh, owner of the Village Pet Shoppe in the North Point Plaza on Carlisle Street. "I'm very happy it's done, who wouldn't be?"