'Slip ramp' to connect Route 29 with Turnpike

August 5, 2010 4:07:27 PM PDT
Tens of thousands of suburban commuters are about to get some relief thanks to an on again, off again, project that's finally gotten the green light.

A new slip ramp will connect the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Route 29 in Chester County, right at the heart of a cluster of corporate complexes.

Located between the Downingtown exit (#312) and the Valley Forge exit (#326), the new ramp will provide access to local business parks, such as Great Valley.

The ramp will not have toll collectors. Instead, commuters will pay for access with tier EZ Pass devices.

Each day about 45,000 to 50,000 vehicles travel the 14-mile stretch of turnpike between Downingtown and Valley Forge.

The hope is that the ramp will not only ease traffic in the area, but will also help officials attract employers to the area.

Officials said the interchange will reduce backups at the Valley Forge Interchange (#326), at the I-76/Route 202 interchange and on Route 202 itself, and will contribute to an overall decrease in traffic on Route 29 in the vicinity of Swedesford Road and Matthews Road, and on Route 401 and Phoenixville Pike, west of Route 29.

Bids will go out in December, the first step for the $60 million project that took 15 years to finally get started.

Turnpike officials expect construction of the interchange will start in March 2011 with a late fall 2012 opening.


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