As the county seat for one of the most affluent counties in Pennsylvania, Norristown should enjoy the economic benefits of its position. But for decades, the borough has experienced a declining population and deteriorating business activity. One factor for its decline was an inadequate roadway network and lack of regional access points. While the area is well-served by transit, the limited roadway network made entry to and from Norristown difficult. The absence of good regional access, combined with significant transportation investments in nearby suburban centers and a scattered development pattern, left Norristown at a disadvantage compared to other suburban areas.
HOW WE HELPED
McCormick Taylor completed Section MGL design, widening and improving Ridge Pike, Diamond Avenue, and Fairfield Road. Our tasks included environmental clearance revaluation, roadway design, drainage and E&S design, traffic control, utility relocation, retaining wall design, and signing and pavement marking.
Final design began in 2009 and was split into several construction contracts to accommodate funding and staging. McCormick Taylor completed the final design for the first two phases, Sections MGP and MGL, and the final Section, MGN, was completed by others.
Construction for Section MGP was completed in December 2014. It involved the extension of Lafayette Street on new alignment to provide access to a future cashless tolling interchange with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. As part of Section MGP, the existing Schuylkill River Trail was re-aligned to accommodate the extension of Lafayette Street.
Section MGL, the second phase of the project, was completed in November 2016. This project included the widening of Ridge Pike to five lanes, with two lanes in each direction and a center two-way left turn lane, and the realignment of Conshohocken Road and Diamond Avenue to form a new four- leg signalized intersection with Fairfield Avenue.
The Lafayette Street Extension project provides connectivity with the PA Turnpike and surrounding townships. This increased accessibility attracts both visitors and business patrons, as well as improves quality of life in and around the borough.
The improved roadways stimulate economic development in Norristown and Plymouth Township and relieve traffic congestion in the area. Pedestrians, trail users, and transit riders enjoy increased vehicle lanes, widened sidewalks, landscaped medians, and a safe pedestrian crossing at the SEPTA Norristown Transportation Center. Two of the region’s most heavily traveled commuter and recreational trails, the Schuylkill River and Chester Valley Trails, are also connected for easy intercounty travel.