Montgomery County Planning Commission Assistant Director Leo Bagley says design work and land acquisition are continuing for the Lafayette Street Improvement Project in Norristown, even though the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has dropped funding for a four-way slip-ramp interchange near Conshohocken Road. He says they learned a few months ago that the interchange had been dropped, at least temporarily, so they took a new look at the rest of the project.
“The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wanted us to do a re-evaluation of the traffic, assuming the turnpike interchange is not there at least in the near term, and we did that, and the traffic benefits were proven to PennDot with the work that we’re doing on Ridge Pike and by extending Lafayette street out toward Plymouth Meeting to Conshohocken Road, that we’re providing a significant traffic flow improvement all along Ridge Pike, and they were very comfortable with funding the rest of the project, so we are proceeding along that path.”
Bagley says work should start early next year on the first phase, extending Lafayette Street to Conshohocken Road. The second phase, rebuilding and widening Ridge Pike, should start about a year later, and rebuilding and widening the existing Lafayette Street should start a year or two after that. The interchange will be built when the Turnpike Commission has the money. The final piece of the puzzle is an interchange connecting Lafayette Street with the Dannehower Bridge, which could be 20 or more years down the road.