Kathy Liebler

Manager, Public Affairs & Media Relations

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


Christina M. Hampton, (610) 292-3785 
Email: champton@paturnpike.com        

 June 13, 2002


PHILADELPHIA, PA - - The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will hold an open-house public meeting from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2002 to review and discuss the status of the feasibility study for the proposed six-lane widening and total reconstruction of the Northeast Extension from the Mid-County Interchange (exit 25A) to the Lansdale Interchange (exit 31) in Upper Gwynedd, Towamencin, and Worcester Townships in Montgomery County.  Preliminary designs for proposed slip ramps near Schultz Road in Worcester and at Township Line Road in Whitpain will also be presented. Slip ramps, which are E-ZPass (electronic toll) only access ramps, allow E-ZPass customers to enter and exit the highway at points located between existing interchanges.

The open-house meeting will take place in the cafeteria at North Penn High School, 1340 Valley Forge Road in Lansdale.  The purpose of the meeting is to present the results of the widening studies to date, including engineering alternatives and any potential impacts to the community and environment as well as to receive input from the public.

The study’s objective is to provide an additional travel lane both north and southbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Northeast Extension (I-476) between the Mid-County Interchange (exit 25A) and the Lansdale Interchange (exit 31), establish the best overall design, identify any environmental consequences of the design, and improve safety and capacity.

Unprecedented growth in the suburban Philadelphia region, represented by many office parks, super-shopping centers and residential development has contributed to severe and growing congestion on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and surrounding highways.  “To accommodate current and future traffic demands and provide a safer, more comfortable and convenient roadway for travelers and commuters in the Philadelphia region, the Turnpike plans to widen the highway in this area from four (4) to six (6) lanes,” said Turnpike Executive Director John Durbin.  

The first section of the highway to be widened to six lanes was a 17-mile stretch of the mainline Turnpike between the Philadelphia Interchange (exit 28) and the junction with the Northeast Extension in the 1980’s.

In 1999 the Turnpike Commission began a feasibility study for the proposed widening covering 16 miles and includes two sections of the highway in Montgomery County: 5.8 miles of the mainline Turnpike from Valley Forge Interchange (exit 24) to Norristown Interchange (exit 25), not including the Schuylkill Rive Bridge, and 10.3 miles from Mid-County Interchange (exit 25A) to the Lansdale Interchange (exit 31) on the Northeast Extension (I-476).  The feasibility study for the east/west portion of the highway was completed in summer of 2000.

The Northeast Extension stretches from the Mid-County Interchange (exit 25A) in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County to Clark Summit Toll Plaza (exit 39) in Scranton.  Formerly known as PA Route 9, the 110-mile highway was officially redesignated as I-476 in 1996 when it became part of the national Interstate Highway System.

Large aerial photographs identifying key aspects of the project such as bridge replacements, noise sensitive areas, and noise monitoring locations will be displayed at the public meeting.  A video, providing background information on what is involved in the noise study process, will be available for the public to view.

Representatives from the Turnpike Commission and their Design Consultants will be available for explanation and discussion of the project.  The feasibility study for the widening of the Turnpike in Montgomery County is being conducted by a team of consulting firms, led by Urban Engineers, Inc. of Philadelphia, PA and includes STV, Inc. Douglasville, PA and A. D. Marble & Company, Inc. of Conshohocken, PA. 


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