Installation of sound barriers along I-95 in Chester also planned
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) unanimously approved funding on March 28 for a $31 million project to resurface I-95 northbound in Delaware County. A companion project for $30 million, funded by the Statewide Interstate Management Program will be used to resurface I-95 southbound in Delaware County.
Both resurfacing projects encompass the entire portion of I-95 in Delaware County, from the Delaware-Pennsylvania State Line to the Philadelphia International Airport, both northbound and southbound.
The condition of the pavement and riding surface has worsened significantly over the last 18 months. This past winter’s weather has accelerated the deterioration of the pavement. Currently, 68% of the roadway in this section is either graded in Fair or Poor condition. Maintaining the roadway is resulting in a considerable drain on the resources of PennDOT’s Delaware County Maintenance force funding allocation. Pothole patching crews are working several days a week to maintain the pavement. This is creating significant traffic delays along I-95 and the surrounding roads.
The pavement preservation project will be along I-95, between the Delaware State Line and the Philadelphia County Line, running through Lower Chichester, Upper Chichester, Chester, Ridley Township, Tinicum Township, Chester City, Upland and Ridley Park Boroughs in Delaware County.
The existing surface on I-95 will be removed from the Delaware State Line to 2000 feet north of PA 420, totaling almost 10 miles. The existing guide rail will be removed and replaced with a guide rail that meets Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) standards. In addition, forty-two existing bridge parapets will be modified to allow for proper connection of the new MASH compliant guide rail. Several hundred feet of damaged existing concrete median barrier will be replaced, as well as 1,700 feet of existing metal median barrier, including 90 feet on the bridge over Bullens Lane, which will be removed and replaced with a concrete barrier. Two acceleration lanes onto I-95 southbound at Kerlin Street and Highland Avenue in Chester will be lengthened, utilizing the existing shoulders and/or minor widening of the existing pavement. Damaged and missing traffic signs will be replaced, rumble strips will be installed, and durable pavement markings and raised pavement markers will be installed.
The two-year project is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2020 and be completed by 2021.
The DVRPC also approved funding for the construction of sound barriers along I-95 in Chester to reduce noise and improve the quality of life for residents in Chester. Preliminary design and preparation will begin in the Fall of 2020. A consultant will assess the existing conditions, create a noise model, forecast future conditions, identify possible noise wall areas, and evaluate them with the noise model. After the study is complete there will be public outreach to inform the potentially affected residents of the study and gather community feedback. Once public comment has been taken into consideration, the final design of the project will commence, requiring about 1 1/2 years for completion. It is estimated that construction of the noise walls will begin by the Fall of 2022 or Spring of 2023.
Both projects will be funded externally, through state and federal funding. The County’s budget will not be impacted.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for a diverse nine-county region in two states: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey.
DVRPC’s vision for the Greater Philadelphia Region is a prosperous, innovative, equitable, resilient, and sustainable region that increases mobility choices by investing in a safe and modern transportation system; that protects and preserves natural resources while creating healthy communities; and that fosters greater opportunities for all. DVRPC’s mission is to achieve this vision by convening the widest array of partners to inform and facilitate data-driven decision-making.
Representing Delaware County on the DVRPC Board are Delaware County Councilman Kevin Madden, Director of The Delaware County Planning Department, Linda Hill and Manager of Transportation Planning, Thomas Shaffer.