I-76 Viaducts

PennDOT Begins Posting Variable Speed Limits on I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) between King of Prussia and Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today the posting of Variable Speed Limits (VSL) and Queue Detection and Warning (QDW) messages along 14 miles of Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) between King of Prussia and Philadelphia.

On April 8, PennDOT activated 72 VSL signs and an end-to-end QDW system along eastbound and westbound I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Montgomery County to the U.S. 1 North (Roosevelt Expressway) Interchange in Philadelphia. The initial activation began a technology testing period and allowed drivers to become accustomed to the new signs.

Beginning May 11, I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) motorists will notice speed limits begin to change based on real-time travel conditions. This is an indication of congestion occurring ahead and an effort to improve the flow of traffic and reduce stop-and-go conditions and the potential for rear-end crashes.

Existing static speed limit signs have been removed and posted speed limits will begin to change along the corridor. Initially, the VSL signs will vary between 35 mph and 55 mph based on real-time traffic and safety conditions (50 mph maximum in the City of Philadelphia). This range of speed limits may be slightly adjusted after the performance of the system and traffic progression results are collected and analyzed.

Speed limits posted to the new VSL signs on I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) will serve as enforceable, regulatory speed limits, not recommended speed advisories. All motorists should follow the posted speed limit on the VSLs.

Additional information specific to VSL signs as well as a list of frequently asked questions for further reference can be found at http://transform76.com/smart-corridor-initiatives/variable-speed-limits/.

The activation of the VSL and QDW systems is the first phase of a long-range, comprehensive, multimodal transportation management plan designed to enhance travel and safety along the I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) corridor between King of Prussia and Philadelphia.

The next phase, currently in design, will include additional active traffic management strategies such as the modernization of traffic signal systems along several roadways running near the expressway, and transforming the existing shoulders on portions of I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) to accommodate an additional travel lane or “flexible” travel lane during peak travel times.

For additional details on this corridor-wide improvement plan, visit www.transform76.com.

PennDOT Announces Start of Construction to Improve Safety on I-76, Route 82 (Manor Road) in Philadelphia and Chester Counties

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that construction is scheduled to begin on Thursday, November 19, on a project to improve travel and safety along Interstate 76 between the Montgomery Drive and Girard Avenue/U.S. 13 interchanges in Philadelphia, and Route 82 (Manor Road) between Business U.S. 30 (Lincoln Highway) and Butterworth Road in the City of Coatesville and Valley Township in Chester County.
Under this project, PennDOT’s contractor will mill and pave I-76 in both directions between the Montgomery Drive and Girard Avenue/U.S. 13 interchanges, as well as pave portions of the Montgomery Drive interchange ramps. Most of the paving will occur overnight. The deteriorating concrete median barrier will also be replaced, and high-friction surface treatment will be installed in select areas along I-76 to improve safety during inclement weather.
Once construction begins on Route 82 (Manor Road), overnight or daytime milling and paving operations will also occur, as well as the replacement of guiderail and a deteriorating raised concrete median between Business U.S. 30 (Lincoln Highway) and Butterworth Road. In addition, the Wagontown Road and Route 82 (Manor Road) Intersection will be reconfigured to require vehicles to stop prior to entering Route 82 (Manor Road).
Road-Con, Inc. of West Chester, Chester County, is the general contractor on the $3,265,646 project which is financed with 100 percent federal funds. The entire project is expected to be completed in fall of 2021.
Work on these projects will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, special signage and relevant training.
For a complete list of construction projects impacting state-owned highways in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, visit www.penndot.gov/District6TrafficBulletin.

State Transportation Commission Adopts Updated 12-Year Transportation Program

Action Clears Way for Latest Round of Transportation Improvements across Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA – The State Transportation Commission (STC) today updated the 12-Year Program. The new plan anticipates $64.8 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.
The 12-Year Program, or TYP, is a multimodal, fiscally-constrained planning tool used to identify and prioritize Pennsylvania’s transportation projects and the funds needed to complete them. State law requires the STC to review and update the 12-Year Program every two years. No capital project can move forward unless it is included in the 12-Year Program.
The newly adopted program, which takes effect October 1, anticipates the following funding availability in the first four years of the TYP from federal, state and local sources:

  • $11.4 billion for state highway and bridge projects;
  • $9.4 billion for public transit;
  • $321 million for multimodal projects;
  • $228 million for rail freight; and
  • $138 million for aviation.

“Investments in transportation are critical for keeping our communities connected to the global economy,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “While additional investment in our large transportation network is certainly needed, PennDOT takes pride in being a responsible steward of federal, state and local dollars to help improve infrastructure across all modes.”
The TYP also highlights some of PennDOT’s major accomplishments over the past two years, such as becoming REAL ID-compliant, as well as impacts to transportation in Pennsylvania because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four Rural Planning Organizations, 19 Metropolitan Planning Organizations and one independent county partnered with PennDOT in the review and development of the update. Now that the STC has approved the update, it has been submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for review and approval. The Federal Highway Administration coordinates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the plan’s conformity with air quality requirements.
Public input early in the 12-Year planning process played a key role in identifying investments in the various transportation modes.
The State Transportation Commission is chaired by the Secretary of PennDOT and consists of 10 appointed citizens as well as the majority and minority chairs of the state House and Senate Transportation committees.
For more information about the TYP, visit www.TalkPATransportation.com.

Chestnut Street Bridge Over the Schuylkill River Closed to All Traffic

The Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia is scheduled to close to all vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycling traffic beginning at 8:00 PM Monday, June 8, for the completion of structural steel repairs, redecking and other improvements, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

PennDOT closed the 63-year-old eastbound connection between University City and Center City to through-vehicles in August 2019 and began repairs to the north side of the span. The south side of the bridge remained open to pedestrians and bicyclists, and for motorists needing access to the parking lot of the 2400 Chestnut office and residential building while a temporary ramp to the lot was constructed. Once the bridge is fully closed, motorists will access the lot via a temporary ramp from 23rd Street and Chestnut Street.

During the closure, motorists and cyclists heading east from West Philadelphia will be detoured north on either 38th Street, 36th Street or 33rd Street to east on Market Street, then across the river to 23rd Street.

Chestnut Street motorists in the vicinity of 30th Street also may turn left on Schuylkill Avenue to access either eastbound Market Street or John F. Kennedy Boulevard across the river to Center City.

An alternate detour for cyclists will be to take 38th Street or 34th Street south, turn left on Spruce Street, then east on South Street across the river to 22nd Street.

Pedestrians will be detoured to either the Market Street or Walnut Street bridges over the river.

Work on this project will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, special signing, and relevant training. 

Repairs to the bridge are part of PennDOT’s $103.6 million project that also includes rehabilitation of eight other nearby structures, including those carrying Schuylkill Avenue over I-76 between Walnut Street and Chestnut Street, and between Chestnut Street and Market Street. More information is available at www.chestnutstreetbridges.com.

The Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River, which carries approximately 18,664 vehicles per day is expected to reopen by late fall. The current bridge was built in 1957, replacing the original iron arch bridge that was built in 1912.