$8 million project promises upgrades to Schuylkill Expressway (I-76)

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$8M project promises Schuylkill Expressway upgrades. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 5pm on June 7, 2018. (WPVI)

Commuters who use the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) could see some relief soon to the congestion that frequently plagues the interstate.

The expressway was opened in 1958 and was designed to handle some 30,000 vehicles per day. Now 60 years later, it's handling more than 300,000 per day.

It's no wonder that the expressway has become synonymous with traffic jams.

That's why the state is announcing more than $8 million in immediate improvements, including electronic variable speed signs, and signs to give drivers advance notice about major stoppages ahead.

"We're going to do things to try to have variable speeds so at different times of the day we're going at different speeds," Wolf said. "This will require signage."

The electronic sign project on speed limits will take about a year to complete. It will cover both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the highway, stretching through Montgomery County and into Philadelphia.

Crews will also modify the existing shoulders on portions of the highway so they can be used as additional travel lanes during peak rush hour times.

Construction is slated to begin later this month and is expected to continue through next summer.

"All these things are an effort to unclog a very heavily trafficked expressway," Wolf said.

PennDOT has set up a website, Transform76.com, with an interactive map detailing the plans.

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