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422 At Sanatoga May Require A Crystal Ball

SANATOGA PA – A study due to be updated by Limerick Township, in its partnership with Lower Pottsgrove to help relieve traffic congestion at the Sanatoga interchange of U.S. Route 422, apparently will require a crystal ball, a time machine, or some other means to get a really good look into the future.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which intends to build new 422 westbound on- and off-ramps at the interchange beginning in 2018, is hoping for a 20-years-distant glimpse at what traffic in the area may be like or need, Lower Pottsgrove Manager Ed Wagner told the Board of Commissioners on Monday (April 3, 2017).

Wagner confirmed Limerick had written to Lower Pottsgrove, announcing its supervisors agreed in mid-March to update a traffic study begun years earlier, when the Costco Warehouse and Philadelphia Premium Outlets were anticipated at the interchange. Revising the study, its assumptions, and conclusions is “part of the process to build the ramps,” he reported.

The document will be detailed and extensive, Wagner expects. He said it probably will include time studies with peak trip counts for both morning and evening traffic flow; growth assumptions for the interchange, feeder roads, and the use of surrounding land in both townships, some of which is vacant and being offered by sellers for development; and “projections out to 2038.”

Limerick reportedly budgeted about $75,000 for the work, which it hopes will be finished by September. Then its representatives, and those from Lower Pottsgrove and PennDOT, will spend time poring over results and conferring about how the westbound ramps should be designed.

The construction itself will be handled by PennDOT and a contractor, but is being paid for by the townships. Last year they jointly won a Commonwealth Financing Authority grant of $2.1 million to help offset the roughly $3 million cost. The remaining $900,000 will be divided between them, and covered by local funds and other grants. Until the traffic problems are solved, PennDOT has imposed a ban against further development at the interchange.

Less-congested eastbound ramps must be rebuilt, too, but that may not happen for another 5 years and an additional cost of $5.5 million. The bulk of that project lies within Lower Pottsgrove, but its agreement with Limerick stipulates both municipalities will work to attract grant funding and share costs for that project as well.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ April 3 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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