PennDOT unveils proposal for final phase of Highway 1 redevelopment
PennDOT has unveiled its preliminary plans for the final section of the Route 1 revision project.
The three-phase project began with the improvement and widening of a 1.3 mile long section of Highway 1 in Bensalem Township in 2018 and the second phase, which began earlier this spring, Widen Route 1 and replace the bridges and interchange between the Neshaminy Interchange in Bensalem Township and immediately after the railway bridges adjacent to the West Lincoln Freeway in Middletown Township.
PennDOT estimates that the third and final phase of the project will cost around $ 80 million and begin construction in October 2026.
The first phase of the work cost approximately $ 100 million and the second phase will be approximately $ 110.9 million. The first two phases were funded 80 percent by the federal government and 20 percent by Harrisburg.
PennDOT has released a video with the narration of the proposed third phase of work. The project has been discussed for almost a decade.
PennDOT officials said the third phase, which will run from Area Highway 1 near Neshaminy High School to the Woods Services Campus overpass near the borders of the Township of Middletown, the Borough of Langhorne and the Borough of Langhorne Manor.
The complete overhaul is needed for safety reasons, to bring the busy highway up to modern design standards and to meet the needs of commuters. The highway was built decades ago and has seen improvements, but the design is outdated, PennDOT officials said.
Safety concerns include the links between the access roads to the motorway, the lack of a shoulder on the motorway for disabled vehicles and the concrete island separating the motorway from the access roads. Another issue is that the bridges crossing are below the current standard for a modern limited-access highway, officials at PennDOT said.
Parts of the third phase will continue to have an access road, but access to the highway will be limited to interchanges and concrete barriers will replace the large islands, according to preliminary plans.
A complete interchange will be built to connect to Highland Avenue. Two roundabouts would be built along Old Lincoln Highway and one along Highland Avenue to handle traffic exiting the highway.
Some of the roads that connect to the current access roads will be blocked off and supplemented with dead ends instead of freeway access.
Another major change will be the addition of a partial trefoil interchange on and off Route 1 that will connect to Pine Street (Route 413). The move would mark the end of the Route 1 access road connections from the Borough of Langhorne Manor and create a roundabout to replace the intersection with the flashing lights where Pine Street, South Bellevue and West Highland meet Avenue. The intersection is a frequent place of confusion among drivers and has led to accidents.
PennDOT officials said they looked at other trade-in options for Route 1 to Pine Street, but the other ideas were gaining too much traction.
With the project, PennDOT officials acknowledged that partial and full acquisition of the property would be required in some locations. They cautioned that changes can be made to the designs.
Preliminary engineering is still in its early stages and final design and right-of-way clearance for the third phase could begin in the spring of 2022 and is expected to take up to a few years, PennDOT officials said.
PennDOT is seeking feedback from residents on their projects. Comments can be made online until July 2.
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