Reopening a stretch of Butler Pike in Montco delayed at least 18 months

Jim Melwert
April 24, 2019 - 1:27 pm
Butler Pike construction

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A stretch of Butler Pike that closed last summer in Montgomery County was supposed to open earlier this month. But much to the frustration of businesses and residents, that re-opening is delayed at least a year and a half.

Butler Pike was first closed between Germantown Pike and where Plymouth Road meets Flourtown Road in August last year, when sinkholes first opened, threatening the safety of the road and also utilities — including a gas line — that run in the area. 

Those sinkholes were filled in and utilities were stabilized, and the plan was to re-open the road by the middle of this month. But before that could happen, more sinkholes opened up — and as it’s a county road, Montgomery County officials say they’ve hired an engineering firm, but the planning alone will take 18 months.

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"We were almost getting to the point where it was going to open, and then we found out they found another sinkhole. I mean, it feels like it just keeps on coming," said Nick Muzyczka, director of operations for Bryn and Dane’s on the corner of Plymouth Road and Butler Pike. He says during rush hour, it’s a mess.

"Getting out of here? I would equate that to an Olympic sport, because you literally have to nudge yourself out, because everybody is just frustrated," he said.

Since Plymouth Road is the main access for the Pa. Turnpike and I-476, Matt Salamone says you can forget about rush hour. 

"In the morning time, if you come out of here after 7:30, it might take you 10 to 15 minutes to get in or out of this," he said. "If you come home between 5 and 6, forget about it."

Morgan, the mother of 18-month-old twins, who lives on the Plymouth Road side of the closure, says even a simple trip to the grocery store is a headache. 

"It’s terribly inconvenient," she said. "You literally have to go 15 minutes out of your way and sometimes past where your destination is, just to get there."

In 2015, a bridge on Plymouth Road about a quarter-mile away was closed because of a sinkhole. That bridge was rebuilt with supports down to the bedrock.

This closure is right by a Norfolk Southern freight rail bridge. Norfolk Southern says the rail line is safe because the supports also go down to bedrock.

Adding to the headache, another bridge on West Valley Green Road is also closed for unrelated reasons.