PennDOT takes on transformation of notorious Schuylkill Expressway

There's no viable long-term solution, but officials say they can tweak it.

Paul Kurtz
June 07, 2018 - 4:40 pm
Schuylkill Expressway

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announced plans Thursday for a long-term project to improve traffic along the Schuylkill Expressway between Philadelphia and King of Prussia. 

Using emerging technologies will be a key aspect of the $8.2 million multi-year project that begins this month in Montgomery County. Richards says workers will be installing electronic signs designed to keep traffic flowing.

“The variable speed signs and Queue Warning Systems will alert drivers to changing conditions so they can adjust their speed and anticipate what’s ahead,” Richards said at PennDOT headquarters. 

The Queue Warning System informs drivers of stop-and-go traffic in real time. "That will help reduce the significance and likelihood of rear-end crashes in that congested corridor," Richards said.

Hemmed in by a river, cliffs and railroad tracks, there’s really no viable long-term solution for expressway improvement. However, PennDOT District Executive Ken McClain said their future plans will tweak it.

“There will be some minor widening. In some areas the shoulders are 6 or 8 feet. We’re gonna need about 14 to 16 feet to make this work from 202 to the Blue Route," McClain said. "We will look to pursue it into the future from the Blue Route into the city.”

That part of the operation won’t get underway until 2020. 

Wolf acknowledged that the plan is far from a cure-all, but he said it’s a start.

"This is an attempt to say, 'OK, instead of just making excuses, let’s start doing something about that problem,'" Woldf said. 

Get more information about the project at transform76.com.