The Sumneytown Pike reconstruction job, between Allentown and Church Roads in Upper Gwynedd, is finished. It was closed for about 15 months while crews re-built the roadway and installed a new overhead freight railroad bridge. Township Manager Len Perrone says it was a long time coming.
“This is our last step in a really incredible journey that started 17 years ago.”
Township Commissioner Jim Santi says the project was halted when the state cut off funding as the final phase was about to start.
“Two years ago we thought the whole thing fell to pot. PennDot, after completing the upper section, decided they weren’t going to fund us anymore, and the township was looking at a pretty big deficit to fill – over $4 million.”
Santi says the project found a new life when Merck and Montgomery County came through with funding, and County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel says they saw the need.
“This is one of five transportation projects that the planning commission brought to us as Jump Start projects to show what the county could do with our money to fix transportation bottlenecks around the county. This is by far the biggest one.”
Hoeffel says the county commissioners would like to fund more transportation projects if they can come up with the money. Chairman Jim Matthews says highway improvements are good for the economy.
“It is just outstanding for what it does for the quality of life. When people are stuck in the car, engines running, small businessmen, soccer moms, people with places to go and things to do, are wasting time. This is tremendous for the economy. It’s all about jobs.”
The final phase of the Sumneytown Pike reconstruction project cost about $7 million.