Early Construction Activities
Advance Tree Clearing Contract
The PTC completed a tree clearing contract in April 2021 within the limits of their right-of-way in advance of the upcoming construction project. The reason for performing the work at this time is due to environmental regulations, which require that cutting
down trees greater than 4 inches diameter must occur between the months of November and March due to the presence long eared bats, which are an endangered species in this region. In order to not impact the schedule of the upcoming construction project,
the PTC initiated a separate contract to remove the trees within the allowable time of year. After the trees are cut down, they are being collected and turned into wood chips. Since the project area is within the Spotted Lantern Fly (SLF) quarantine
area, trees and branches cannot be transported out of the quarantine area. All trees and branches must be chipped and left sitting in piles for several days to generate heat to kill the SLF eggs. Wood chips are then being collected and removed. The
PTC will remove all remaining stumps and perform any needed residual tree clearing within the appropriate restrictions as part of the upcoming construction project.
Asphalt Patching and Resurfacing Contract
A project to patch and resurface the existing Turnpike roadway between the Mill Road overpass and Valley Forge Service Interchange started on April 19, 2021. The contractor is currently working on the eastbound Turnpike, working their way from the area
of the Mill Road overpass towards the Valley Forge Interchange. The eastbound work is anticipated to be complete by the end of April and will then begin working westbound. The overall completion date for this pavement patching work is July 23, 2021
but may be completed as early as Memorial Day. The work needs to be performed at night due to lane closures that are required during off-peak hours.
This work is not part of the upcoming reconstruction and widening project but is needed to make sure the existing roadway will remain in good condition over the next several years during the widening project.
Reconstruction and Widening Project Schedule
The reconstruction and widening project is going out to bid in July 2021 and construction is expected to begin in September 2021. Construction is anticipated to take approximately 3 years, with the Turnpike open to 6 lanes of traffic by November 2024.
There may be some additional landscaping and seeding that needs to be completed in the Spring of 2025 depending on weather and timing. The PTC's contracting methods, which are widely used across the industry, are to design and sequence the project,
but provide general guidance in the way of timing. This is done to allow flexibility to the Contractor to get the best quality project in a reasonable timeframe. Therefore, the timing of specific construction activities will be determined by the Contractor.
The Contractor will provide a more detailed schedule once the project is awarded and regular updates will be posted on the project website as construction progresses to provide advanced notice of specific work activities.
The reconstruction of the Turnpike bridges over Thomas and Glenhardie Roads is estimated to begin in May of 2022 and continue through May of 2024. Both Thomas and Glenhardie Roads will require single lane conditions underneath the bridges for a period
of time, in order to provide sufficient room for the bridge construction. Temporary traffic signals will be installed on each side of the bridge to control the flow of traffic. A closure of Thomas Road to all traffic will occur in the Fall of 2021
for installation of a storm drain pipe and traffic will be detoured using Glenhardie Road. It is anticipated this closure will last approximately one week. Intermittent short-term closures at both sites will occur as needed for specific demolition
and erection operations. Please refer to the link below for a preliminary construction and detour schedule. The website will be updated during construction to provide advance notice on the timing of these restrictions.
The sound barriers for this project will be built during the first stage of construction, which will take approximately 2 years to complete between the Fall of 2021 and end of 2023. Not all sound barriers will be constructed at the same time, however they will all be constructed by the end of 2023. The location of the sound barrier, relative to the Turnpike and construction access, influences the decision on when a given section of barrier can be constructed.
Excess Excavation Area
Construction of the widening and reconstruction project will result in excess soil and rock that needs to be permanently placed within the project limits. The PTC has identified an area within their property at the Valley Forge Service Plaza where the contractor can place this material, which is shown on the map using the link below.The excess excavation areas may be up to 35 feet in height. The existing berm behind the service plaza is 18 feet high.