U.S. 202, one of Chester County’s major transportation arteries, has seen a lot of changes in recent years that have benefited people who live, work and visit here thanks to the work done by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
While there is still work ahead, Chester County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone, and Terence Farrell recently took the time to highlight the progress that has been made to date in light of the recent completion of the U.S. 202 Bridge Replacement over Amtrak. PennDOT rehabilitated and replaced the deck of two deteriorated bridges carrying U.S. 202 over Amtrak rail lines at the southern end of the U.S. 30 Interchange and replaced deteriorated pavement on ramps to and from the U.S. 30/Exton Bypass in East and West Whiteland townships.
This work is the final stage of the U.S. 202-300 project. In Section 300, PennDOT widened 6.5 miles of U.S. 202 from four lanes to six lanes from just south of the Route 252 (Swedesford Road) Interchange to the U.S. 30 (Exton Bypass) Interchange in Tredyffrin and East Whiteland tTownships, Chester County, to improve travel, reduce congestion and enhance safety. Mainline construction began in April 2011 and finished in August 2016. PennDOT added a third travel lane in each direction on U.S. 202 by widening into the former grass median and replacing six overhead bridges.
“PennDOT continues to invest heavily to improve travel and safety along the U.S. 202 corridor in Chester County,” said PennDOT District Executive Kenneth M. McClain. “Our reconstruction and widening of this highway over the last decade, plus planned future enhancements, will greatly benefit the lives of all commuters who use this key artery through southeast Pennsylvania.”
“We’re thrilled to see all the progress that has been made on U.S. 202 north of West Chester,” said Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline. “We’re also looking forward to working with PennDOT and other partners to reduce regional congestion in the U.S. 202 corridor south of West Chester.”
Added Commissioner Kathi Cozzone: “We thank PennDOT for leading this project and completing this work. Improvements to U.S. 202 – both upcoming and completed projects – help our residents and people who work in and visit Chester County by reducing congestion in line with an objective of Landscapes3, the County’s comprehensive plan.”
PennDOT’s work on the U.S. 202 at Route 926 intersection is currently in preliminary design and includes improvements that will help reduce congestion and increase safety at the intersection of U.S. 202 and Route 926 through lane reconfigurations, striping, upgrades to the traffic signal, signal timing, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. Roadway improvements for this intersection include installation of a southbound right-turn deceleration lane on U.S. 202 and an additional eastbound left-turn lane on Route 926, creating a double left-turn configuration along the eastbound approach onto northbound U.S. 202. Pedestrian and bicycle intersection improvements include physical upgrades such as crosswalks, ADA ramps, pedestrian landings, as well signal equipment upgrades for pedestrian push buttons, countdown signal heads, and lighting. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021.
Landscapes3 identifies U.S. 202 south of West Chester as a critical congestion area where planning, design or construction activities are anticipated to improve safety and mobility.
“Our comprehensive plan also calls for embracing smart transportation improvements for roadways and advocating for smart travel demand management strategies and new technologies to enhance roadway safety and reduce congestion,” noted Commissioner Terence Farrell. “We commend PennDOT for installing Intelligent Transportation System equipment to better manage traffic flow on U.S. 202.”
In addition, the Chester County Planning Commission is working with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and PennDOT on a three-year U.S. 202 Operations Analysis. The objective of this study is to make recommendations for operational improvements on U.S. 202 within the study areas from Skiles Boulevard north to the Route 100 exit. Currently, the DVRPC Office of Corridor Planning is modeling existing conditions and future scenarios for the study area. Operational improvements will be defined for this corridor upon evaluation of the different scenarios.
PennDOT is also working on traffic signal improvements in Chester and Delaware counties. The construction began September 30, 2019 and is expected to end in fall 2022. PennDOT will upgrade signalization at six intersections along U.S. 202 between West Goshen and Concord townships and eight intersections along U.S. 1 between East Marlborough and Concord townships.
In Thornbury and Westtown townships, intersection signalization improvements will take place on Route 926 (Street Road) between U.S. 202 and Dalmally Drive. The project will allow for improved traffic flow with upgraded adaptive traffic signals. This modernized equipment will be mounted on existing mast arms and controller cabinets, which will allow for varying traffic signal times based on real-time data. Designated intersections will also receive closed circuit television cameras to provide incident management, which will connect to the PennDOT Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) in King of Prussia. Two intersections on U.S. 1 will have Bluetooth readers installed with capabilities to transmit traffic data to new dynamic messaging signs.