U.S. 202 - 400
GULPH ROAD TO NORTH VALLEY ROAD
In October 2003, PennDOT completed the $290 million project to widen this five-mile section of U.S. 202 to six lanes and to improve U.S. 202’s interchanges at I-76, U.S. 422 and Chesterbrook Boulevard. Construction began on March 16, 1999. This part of U.S. 202 carries the largest traffic volumes on the corridor (70,000 to 105,000 vehicles a day).
The first contract to go to construction in 1999 was worth $63.2 million. This contract covered the widening of U.S. 202 between the bridge over North Valley Road and Old Eagle School Road, and the construction of new ramps at the Chesterbrook Boulevard Interchange.
The second construction contract, worth $50.4 million, moved into construction in April 2000. This contract included building several new ramps, including the direct connection ramp from U.S. 202 North and U.S. 422 East to I-76 East. The new ramps opened in December 2001. This contract also included $17 million in additional funds for sinkhole repairs.
The third contract, worth $117 million, began in April 2001. This contract covered the widening of U.S. 202 between Old Eagle School Road and Gulph Road. It also included new ramp construction at the I-76/U.S. 202 interchange; the replacement of the Old Eagle School Road and Warner Road bridges over U.S. 202; the widening of the intersection of Gulph Road; and the installation of Intelligent Transportation System equipment (closed circuit TV cameras, variable message signs).
The fourth construction contact began in November 2001. This $46.6 million contract consisted of building a new Norfolk Southern bridges over I-76 and South Gulph Road, widening I-76 between Croton Road and Mall Boulevard, building a multi-use trail bridge over I-76, and erecting sound walls along I-76 between U.S. 202 and Croton Road.
In November 1997, PennDOT finished the $6 million widening of East Swedesford Road to five lanes between South Warner Road and Drummers Lane. This project included building a new five-lane bridge over U.S. 422. In 1996, Tredyffrin Township widened East Swedesford Road to five lanes from Drummers Lane to West Valley Road in 1996. East Swedesford Road was widened to move traffic better while crews widen U.S. 202.
The project was financed with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) financing 80 percent and PennDOT 20 percent. Tredyffrin and Upper Merion Townships provided approximately $ 7 million for interchange and local road improvements. The design consultant was URS Inc.
In conjunction with this project, PENNDOT successfully relocated the historic King of Prussia Inn in August 2000 from U.S. 202 to Bill Smith Boulevard in Upper Merion. International Chimney Corporation of Buffalo, N.Y. was the general contractor on the $1.6 million project. PennDOT also opened three new park and ride lots in 1999. The locations of the new park and rides are: U.S. 30/U.S. 202 interchange in East Whiteland Township (Chester Co.); Matthews Road at the U.S. 202/PA 29 interchange in East Whiteland Township; and Lewis Road at U.S. 422 interchange in Limerick Township (Montgomery Co.). Prior to widening U.S. 202, PennDOT relocated PECO Energy distribution lines and township sewer lines within the construction area in 1998-99 under a $9.4 million contract.
PennDOT began preliminary design in December 1991 to widen U.S. 202 from four lanes to six; rebuild the interchanges at I-76, U.S. 422 and Chesterbrook Boulevard; replace the Old Eagle School Road and South Warner Road bridges over U.S. 202, and widen Swedesford Road The Environmental Assessment (EA) -- an investigation into potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed improvements -- began in 1986 and was revised in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the scope of the project expanded. The 1993 revision addressed impacts associated with a proposed ramp to provide a direct connection from U.S. 202 North and U.S. 422 East to I-76 East. Final environmental clearance was received from the FHWA in March 1996. Final engineering design began in spring 1996.
The Section 400 environmental clearance process involved an investigation into the feasibility of relocating the historic King of Prussia Inn, which sat in the median of U.S. 202 just north of the I-76 interchange. PennDOT examined the potential for relocating the Inn, funding, long-term maintenance and public use. Ortega Consultants (Media, Pa.) examined the historical significance of the building. The Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission reviewed the reports in 1993. PennDOT then developed a marketing plan to relocate the Inn. Five proposals were submitted and evaluated. The King of Prussia Chamber of Commerce proposal was selected. The chamber raised funds for the Inn’s eventual restoration and opened the Inn for business in October 2002.
PennDOT met several times with representatives from the Valley Creek Coalition (includes Trout Unlimited, Valley Force National Park) to discuss storm water runoff. The state Department of Environmental Protection (PennDEP) held a public hearing in July 1998 on PennDOT’s Erosion and Sedimentation permit application for the first construction contract (section 402). PennDOT made some adjustments to the E & S plan and PennDEP issued the permit. In 2000, PennDOT and Valley Creek Coalition settled a case regarding the coalition’s fight against the DEP permit. PennDOT agreed to add additional storm water facilities.