Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Kay Jenkins Rew, (610) 279-1645 

May 12, 2000



Philadelphia, PA – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission today announced that the Schuylkill River Bridge/Diamond Run Viaduct Construction Project, started in spring of 1998, has been completed one month before the mid-June deadline.

The $34.5 million project, located between the Valley Forge (#24) and Norristown (#25) Interchanges in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, included the construction of a new 1,224-foot bridge erected south of and adjacent to the 46 year old existing bridge and the total rehabilitation of the existing structure. The work has resulted in a new six-lane bridge to accommodate future traffic demands. The project also included the demolition and replacement of the Diamond Run Viaduct.

The Turnpike will utilize four lanes, two lanes each for eastbound and westbound travel, until completion of the proposed six lane widening between the Valley Forge and Norristown interchanges. The Commission has initiated preliminary design work for the widening project with construction tentatively scheduled for 2003 or 2004.

Turnpike Executive Director, John Durbin said, "Traffic through this area of the Turnpike has increased dramatically over the years to over 50,000 vehicles a day and that volume is expected to grow. The completion of this project is truly significant to improving the travel needs of our customers and transportation needs of southeastern Pennsylvania."

Durbin praised the project engineers for "completing a very complex project ahead of schedule, safely managing the traffic flow through the construction site and maintaining four travel lanes during peak hours with minimum disruptions to the public.

Turnpike Civil Engineer Bernard T. Bydlon said, "In addition to managing the traffic flow, this project presented many interesting challenges. The new span abuts Conrail’s tracks in one area. Conrail and SEPTA, as well as Upper Merion Township and Montgomery County have all been very cooperative throughout construction of this complicated project."

Construction also brought to light the geological makeup of the Valley Forge/King of Prussia area. Karst (limestone) is common throughout the vicinity, which meant using stabilizing techniques under the earth’s surface whenever needed, Bydlon explained.

Engineering consultants Urban Engineers, Inc. and general contractor IA Construction Corporation/Tony DePaul & Sons have completed the project on budget and a month ahead of schedule. New, permanent traffic patterns are now in place, carrying eastbound traffic on the new span, and westbound on the rehabilitated bridge. Although the roadway project is complete, crews will be working and painting underneath the bridge for a few more weeks and cleaning up the entire work site.


 P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649