Known also as the Morgantown Expressway, Interstate 176 is a spur from I-76 / Pennsylvania Turnpike north to U.S. 422 on the outskirts of Reading. The freeway replaced Pennsylvania 10 and U.S. 122 as the main route between the Turnpike at Morgantown and the city of Reading.
Alternatively known as the Reading Spur, the Morgantown Expressway was first proposed in 1957.1 Numbered Interstate 180, as the Pennsylvania Turnpike was designated as I-80S at the time, the first contract for the freeway was awarded on August 17, 1960. It covered the 3.61 mile long stretch of I-180 between Green Hills Lake and the Reading Bypass (U.S. 422).2 Costing $9 million to build, the Morgantown Expressway was dedicated on October 23, 1962 by Governor David L. Lawrence in a ribbon cutting ceremony.1 Completion of the route led to the 1963 decommissioning of U.S. 122, which followed a parallel course through Berks County.
Until 1996, Interstate 176 ended at PA 10/23 (Main Street) in the community of Morgantown in Caernarvon Township. There was no direct connection to I-76 along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Eight options to link the two Interstates were considered in 1984. The most costly was a $33 million, 1.5 mile long connector branching southeast from a point 2.5 miles north of the freeway end at Morgantown. This option included building new trumpet interchanges at each end.3
Initial work on the Morgantown Connector focused on replacing the original Morgantown Interchange at PA 10 with a new trumpet interchange and access road located 1.5 miles to the northeast. This $17 million project was completed by November 1990.5 Costing $18.5 million, construction on the remainder of the two mile long Morgantown Connector commenced in 1994 and was completed on September 27, 1996.4 The former roadway of I-176 extending south to W Main Street was retained and numbered as Exit 2.