New lane should ease pain on 422

February 13, 2008 3:33:20 PM PST
One new, short lane could bring big relief to commuters who use one of the most congested highways in the Delaware Valley. We are talking about Route 422 near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Work on a new westbound lane is expected to begin in just a few days. As road projects go it is not that big, costing $5.5 million. The project measures a half-mile wide.

But PennDOT spokesperson Gene Blaum says that a third lane on 422 west bound between route 23 in Valley Forge and Route 363 trooper will help speed the commute.

It should ease the crush of traffic merging onto the highway from Route 23 on weekdays.

"The aim is to make 422 evening traffic, heading west, flow smoother with less delays than today." Blaum said.

A half-mile of new highway doesn't sound like much but PennDOT studies show that 2,000 cars an hour enter 422 westbound from Route 23.

Half of them get off at the very next exit at Trooper Road.

"So much of that traffic that has to fight ? merge to get into westbound traffic," Blaum said. "It will no longer have to do that. So that interference will be removed."

Construction will begin February 26th and last until November. Except for an occasional weekend almost all of the work will be done between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. with two lanes of traffic staying open the rest of the time.

Route 422 motorists hope the inconvenience of 9 months of construction pain, gives birth to fewer traffic jams there.

Joe Bennick of Phoenixville, probably speaks for most of those familiar with Route 422 tie-ups.

"If it works, and it allows traffic to continue to move," Bennick said." I would say it is a good idea."

PennDOT says that in addition to the third lane on Route 422, modifications are planned for the interchanges at Valley Forge and at Trooper Road.