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Cranberry's Transportation Plan

transit imagesRapid 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.  Current and planned transportation projects are described below.

Project Overview: Route 228 is the center of Cranberry’s fast-growing Innovation Corridor. It ties directly into I-79 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Rt. 228 also provides access to both Interstate highways for communities east of Cranberry Township. Once completed, these long-planned projects, which involve added turning lanes, signal changes, and a new connecting road, will significantly improve the flow of traffic along this busy commercial corridor.  

Rt 228 corridor improvements
            Project Overview Map  

Project Completed

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 Penguins Facility, opening in 2015). 

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 will be retimed by the Township. 

Key intersections with signal phase changes in lead/lag lefts:
Rt. 19
  • Rochester Rd./ Wisconsin Way
  • Walmart Dr. / Short St.

Rochester Rd.
* Rochester & Haine School Rd.

Rt. 228
  • Cranberry Commons / Kristoffer Dr.
  • Franklin Rd.
  • Adams Ridge Blvd.


Freedom Rd.
  • Commonwealth Dr. / McIntyre Lane
  • Executive Dr. / Cranberry Mall Dr.
  • Connector St. / Cranberry Mall Dr.


In 2011, our region was awarded re-timing of the traffic signals as part of the SPC Regional Traffic Signal Program (SINC-UP Cycle 1), a program established to help municipalities improve traffic signal operations by optimizing signal timings based on up to date traffic volumes. Fortunately, Cranberry received this re-timing project again (SINC-UP Cycle 2).  It included analysis of vehicle counts, travel times, recent crash history and waits at key crossroads, all of which were fed into a computerized model to optimize traffic signal timings.  

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

SPC presented the several recommendations this year. One was to provide updated coordinated signal timing based on updated traffic data and recent upgrades at several signalized intersections.  All four existing peak period plans are optimized: morning, afternoon, evening, weekend plans. In addition, off-peak timing plans were added. This allows groups of intersections to run shorter cycle lengths and breaks the network up into smaller zones during periods of lighter traffic volume while still providing progression along the major corridors. This is a direct result of driver feedback from our residents and should be a noticeable reduction in side street delay during off-peak periods.

The other recommendation was to switch the sequence of several signals to better coordinate flow between intersections. Patterns will change direction of some major street ‘leading lefts’ and ‘lagging lefts' - to reduce queues and delay, and focus on two-way progression on the major corridors. 

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.  

Coming up in 2015, 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.

Project Completed

Route 19 / Freedom Road / Rt. 228 
December 11, 2014

New Signal brings closure to this project  As the final phase of the Freedom Road Improvement Project, a new and improved traffic signal will be activated during overnight hours 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 has now been upgraded to include dual lefts, dual throughs, and a right turn lane in each direction. This will allow the signal timing to be optimized with concurrent eastbound and westbound movement on Freedom Road and Route 228. 

The new signal will be activated and the old signal removed in the overnight hours of Wednesday, December 10.  Weather permitting; the new signal will be fully operational beginning at 6:00 AM Thursday, December 11, 2014.   East and westbound advance dual left turns will now occur simultaneously on Route 228 and Freedom Road followed by east and westbound through movements. 

This is a change in the current signal operation to make the intersection operate more efficiently.  This $3,629,616 intersection improvement project is being constructed by S.E.T. Inc. and managed by PennDOT.  

Project Completed

I-79 Ramps  November 13, 2014   

Previously, westbound drivers on 228 who wanted to get onto I-79 in either direction turned left across traffic to get onto the Interstate’s on-ramps. Now, traffic flow is 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.

Project Completed 
Cranberry Woods  October 17, 2014

Traffic exiting MSA’s Cranberry Woods Business Park onto Rt. 228 previously had three lanes – one right turn for eastbound traffic, one left only, and one combined left and straight lane. Until recently, however, there was nowhere for the straight ahead lane to go. But as the Cranberry Crossroads project was completed on the north side of 228, a new road, Cranberry Springs Drive, was opened immediately across from Cranberry Woods Drive, and then 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.
 Cranberry Woods Project

Project Completed 

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.

Ongoing Project

Cranberry Springs Drive

This office, retail and restaurant development adjacent to Cranberry Commons includes a new road, Cranberry Springs Drive, which will connect with 228 at its already-signalized intersection with Cranberry Woods Drive.  Cranberry Springs will also intersect a new 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 will also be added between Cranberry Springs Dr. and I-79 to tie into PennDOT’s I-79 ramp project.  
Future Project

Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge    
Milepost 28 - Freedom Road Bridge Replacement (PA Turnpike)

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are moving ahead with plans to replace the Freedom Road Bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike. PennDOT announced selection of the engineering firm of HDR, Inc. of Pittsburgh as the consultant for design and consultation during construction for this project. Design is anticipated to begin this fall. With a cooperative agreement in place, PennDOT is responsible for the design plans while the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be responsible for construction.  This project includes widening the bridge to provide two lanes in each direction on Freedom Road with a center turn lane and sidewalks. Projected construction dates and further details will be determined during design.