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Contact: Carl DeFebo
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Bill Capone

July 30, 2013
Pennsylvania Turnpike Celebrates Start of Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project

Governor Corbett, other officials break ground for the $500 million project today.
BENSALEM, PA. (July 30, 2013) — Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton joined Governor Tom Corbett at the Turnpike’s Trevose Maintenance Facility in Bensalem to officially kickoff the start of the $500 million Stage 1 of the project to connect the Pa. Turnpike to Interstate 95, finally completing the nation’s original Interstate Highway System and improving travel through the Mid-Atlantic.

In addition to Governor Corbett, Lt. Governor Cawley and Turnpike leaders gathered this afternoon with federal, state and local elected officials to break ground at the construction site of a mainline toll facility that will become the new eastern terminus of the Turnpike’s ticket-based toll-collection system.

“This interchange is just another example of the progress we’ve made over the last two years,” said Governor Corbett. “We’ve created more than 130,000 private-sector jobs, recovering more than 60 percent of the jobs lost during the recession. We cannot expand our economy without expanding our transportation system.”

The mainline toll facility is part of a $59 million contract that includes reconstruction and widening of a portion of Interstate 276 in Bensalem and the construction of an All-Electronic Tolling (AET) location for customers entering Pennsylvania via the Delaware River Bridge. The Stage-1 project corridor is located between the Bensalem Interchange (Exit #351) and the Delaware River Bridge on the Turnpike, and from the Neshaminy Creek to the Turnpike along I-95.

“We’re here to commemorate the beginning of a critical infrastructure project that will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for residents and commuters in the surrounding area,” said Turnpike Chief Executive Officer Mark Compton. “Many also consider the Turnpike/I-95 link to be a central component for the continued economic growth and competitiveness of this region.”

When Stage-1 construction is completed sometime in 2018 (the anticipated timeframe based on the commission’s current capital plan), the new I-95 movements will be opened to traffic. Simultaneously, sections of the existing Pa. and N.J. Turnpikes will be redesignated as I-95, thus making the East Coast’s primary interstate highway continuous from Florida to Maine. Two additional Stage-1 interstate widening and improvement contracts along the Turnpike (to begin in 2014) and I-95 (to begin in 2015) are needed to achieve this I-95 completion and redesignation.

“Years in the making, this link will enhance mobility for thousands of commuters throughout the corridor, improving safety and convenience not only for Turnpike users but anyone else using the region’s roadway network,” said Turnpike Commissioner Pat Deon. “The new link will shorten travel times, help relieve overcrowding on local roads and at adjacent Turnpike interchanges and provide better access to growing corporate centers nearby.”

Since 2010, construction projects completed in Stage 1 have included the replacement of two overhead bridges and a wetlands mitigation site. Several other projects are now in construction, including the implementation of an advance intelligent transportation system (ITS) with work-zone monitoring and traffic control, a stream-mitigation project in Bristol Township, and the replacement of bridges carrying Ford Road over I-95 and Richlieu Road over I-276.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission began to study a high speed interchange between the Turnpike and I-95 in 1992 in response to federal and state legislation; the commission has since made a commitment to move forward with Stage-1 construction – funded by toll revenues and the remaining federal interstate completion dollars dedicated to this project. Design activities for some of the Stage-2 work are still under way while funding sources for construction of the remaining interchange movements and Turnpike widening/reconstruction continue to be identified and sought. The cost for the project in its entirety is estimated to be $1.4 billion.