Two major highways in Northeast Philadelphia will be linked by a new interchange in a few years. The project to link up the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s mainline with Interstate 95 received a $155 million shot in the arm this week and is scheduled to break ground this summer.
Acting on a request from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission approved the bundling and release of funds for Phase 1 of the project on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The mainline Pennsylvania Turnpike is designated as I-276 in Bristol County. I-95 currently passes over the turnpike with no interchange. Once completed, and traffic reconfigured, the interchange will serve as the final continuous link for I-95 between Maine and Florida.
According to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the first $155 million is made up of $100 million from the Federal Highway Administration, $54 million from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and a little over $1 million from a previous earmark.
The money will jumpstart the project by widening four miles of turnpike in Bristol County and adding three new turnpike bridges and piers for future ramps. That will take about four years.
The next two phases will reconfigure the traffic pattern once completed. A portion of I-95 north of the interchange will be redesignated as I-195, while I-95 proper will route to the current Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline en route to the New Jersey Turnpike.
In total, the project cost will approach $1.4 billion, a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission official said. Funding will come from multiple sources including toll revenue.
Photos and renderings that compare the current layout with the future interchange can be found on the project website. Click here to take a look.
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