NORRISTOWN, PA – Montgomery County has completed the third and final phase of the Lafayette Street Extension Project
, a major transportation project aimed at improving highway access and mobility into downtown Norristown and Plymouth Township. This marks the conclusion of the county’s 20-year effort to improve and extend Lafayette Street to an eventual new Turnpike interchange.
This important project, managed by the Montgomery County Planning Commission
in association with PennDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the PA Turnpike Commission, will connect downtown Norristown, the county government complex, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Norristown Transportation Center to the regional highway system, helping to spur revitalization and economic development in Norristown and Plymouth Township and relieve area traffic congestion.
“The completion of the Lafayette Street project represents forward-thinking government at its finest,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “The improvements made to support economic revitalization, provide for traffic congestion relief along the corridor, paired with upgraded trail and pedestrian connections, will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike for years to come.”
“Over the past two decades, the Lafayette Street project has garnered support from every County administration, recognizing the importance of this project to the economic development of Norristown and the region,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “No other county has led a transportation infrastructure project of this magnitude in the Commonwealth which is a testament to all of our regional partners throughout the years.”
The $90 million project, considered the largest locally led transportation infrastructure project in the Commonwealth, and to which the Montgomery County government contributed 20 percent, was accomplished in three construction phases.
The first phase, beginning in 2013, involved extending Lafayette Street beyond Ford Street to Conshohocken Road and Diamond Avenue. Phase two widened and realigned local roads near the eventual Turnpike interchange including Ridge Pike, Conshohocken Road, Diamond Avenue, Fairfield Road and Lucetta Street in Plymouth Township. The final phase involved reconstructing and widening the existing Lafayette Street, as well as relocating the Schuylkill River Trail.
The third phase of the project featured the full-depth reconstruction of Lafayette Street from Barbadoes Street to Ford Street, along with a transformation of the roadway east of DeKalb Street into an urban boulevard. Drivers now experience four new traffic lanes with landscaped medians between Ford Street and Conshohocken Road, along with bi-directional traffic on Ford Street, new traffic signals, and upgraded railroad crossing gates over the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line tracks.
Pedestrians, SEPTA riders, and trail users can take advantage of 13-foot-wide sidewalks, a newly relocated and easily accessible Schuylkill River Trail, formal connections to the Chester Valley Trail, new public open space throughout the corridor, a newly rehabilitated Strawberry Alley, and a safe, new mid-block crossing of Lafayette Street near the SEPTA Norristown Transportation Center.
Future phases of the project include the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s $66 million project to build the Lafayette Street interchange, currently underway, and PennDOT’s future plans to construct a half interchange with the US 202 South Dannehower Bridge.
Photos and video of the project are available upon request.