Transform 76

News

Belmont Avenue/Green Lane Restrictions Next Week for ITS Installations in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties

I-76, U.S. 1 shoulder closures continue next week

King of Prussia, PA – Single lane closures are scheduled on Belmont Avenue/Green Lane between Jefferson Street and Main Street in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County and Philadelphia on Monday, October 8, through Friday, October 12, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM for installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) components as part of the first phase of a long-range, comprehensive, multimodal transportation management plan designed to enhance travel and safety along the Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) corridor between King of Prussia and Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today. 

In addition to the single lane closure on Belmont Avenue/Green Lane, I-76 and U.S. 1 motorists will continue to encounter periodic shoulder closures weekdays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM over the next several weeks at the following locations:

  • I-76 East and West between Montgomery Drive and the Pennsylvania Turnpike;
  • U.S. 1 North between I-76 and Ridge Avenue; and
  • U.S. 1 South between Ridge Avenue and City Avenue.

Motorists are advised to allow more time for travel in the work areas because backups and slowdowns may occur. The contractor’s schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.

This work is part of a PennDOT program to employ a series of smart corridor strategies and technologies over the next several years through an integrated corridor management initiative intended to maximize capacity on I-76, optimize traffic flow on adjacent roadways and incentivize transit, bicycle, and pedestrian travel throughout the corridor.

This first phase of the plan, which got underway this summer, includes installing a series of Variable Speed Limit (VSL) and Queue Warning (QW) systems on I-76 in Montgomery County. The VSL systems will display regulatory speed limits that can change based on real-time expressway, traffic and weather conditions to improve traffic flow and safety by warning drivers of changing travel conditions. The QW systems will be deployed to provide real-time displays of electronic warning messages to alert motorists of significant slowdowns ahead to reduce sudden stopping and the potential for rear-end crashes.

Construction on the first phase will be completed in summer 2019 followed by a six-month testing period.

Carr & Duff Inc., of Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County is the general contractor on the $8,647,955 project which is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.

Preliminary design is currently underway on the next phase of this corridor-wide transportation management plan which will include the modernization of traffic signal systems along several roadways running near the expressway; transforming the existing shoulders on portions of I-76 to accommodate an additional travel lane or “flexible” travel lane during peak travel times; and expansion of public transit service along the Manayunk/Norristown regional rail line.

To complement “flexible” lane use on I-76, PennDOT will incorporate additional smart corridor initiatives such as: 

  • Ramp Metering: Red and green traffic signals to control the frequency with which vehicles enter the flow of traffic from entrance ramps to increase vehicle throughput during peak hours and increase expressway speeds;
  • Junction Control: The use of overhead electronic signs over travel lanes to regulate or close lanes at merge areas to improve traffic flow at high-volume interchanges, including U.S. 202/U.S. 422, I-476 and U.S. 1;
  • Dynamic Lane Assignments: Overhead electronic signs provide information for each travel lane on the expressway to identify open lanes and alert drivers of upcoming lane closures due to crashes or disabled vehicles; and
  • Multimodal Enhancements: In partnership with SEPTA, PennDOT plans to provide real-time transit information on electronic message signs along I-76 in conjunction with SEPTA’s potential deployment of a Smart Parking pilot program. The message board displays will inform motorists of transit station parking availability and real-time train departure times to better inform citizens of transit travel options. SEPTA also intends to enhance service on the Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line.

PennDOT will also coordinate with Montgomery County, the City of Philadelphia, and other agencies to seek opportunities to upgrade the Schuylkill River Trail and other multimodal trails along the corridor with improvements, such as better wayfinding, parking and lighting to make this mode a more attractive commuter option.

PennDOT is currently coordinating with the Pennsylvania State Police and other EMS agencies to enhance emergency response along the corridor.

The I-76 active traffic management plan was developed from a feasibility study of I-76 in Montgomery County. The study, which began in late 2014 and was completed in fall 2016, examined the viability and potential benefits associated with applying certain technologies and operational changes on the expressway.

For additional details on this corridor-wide initiative, visit www.transform76.com or follow the latest updates on Facebook@Transform76 or Twitter @TranformI76.

Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties at www.penndot.gov/District6.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Rudolph, 610-205-6800