Interstate 276 Pennsylvania
Interstate 276 extends the Pennsylvania Turnpike east from Valley Forge (I-76) to Norristown, Valley Forge and Levittown. Originally known as the Delaware River Extension the toll road serves through traffic east to the New Jersey Turnpike and west to Harrisburg. I-276 also constitutes a commuter route across the north Philadelphia suburbs in Montgomery and Bucks Counties.
Speed limits are posted at 70 miles per hour along the entire length of I-276, with the exception of at the main line toll plaza east of Exit 352 (PA 132), and through the long term construction zone between Bensalem and Bristol. The Pennsylvania Turnpike is six lanes wide from the split with Interstate 76 east to U.S. 1 at the Bensalem Interchange (Exit 351).
Prior to 2018, I-276 ended at the New Jersey state line along the Delaware River Turnpike Toll Bridge. Signs further east along the New Jersey Turnpike mainline referenced I-276, though the Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike Extension west to Pennsylvania was not part of the Interstate system. This changed when the interchange with I-95 and I-295 east opened at Bristol Township.
Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-276 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Source: Bucks and Montgomery County 2021 Traffic Volume Maps (PennDOT)
PA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange
The PA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange Project linked Interstate 95 with the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276) and expanded I-95 south to Neshaminy Creek. Programmed construction also widens I-276 west to Trevose, widens I-95 east to Bristol and replaces the Delaware River Bridge. Two flyover ramps at the high speed interchange opened to traffic on September 23, 2018 as the new mainline of Interstate 95. Numbering changes were as follows:
- Interstate 276 was formally truncated west to the partial interchange with I-95 and I-295.
- Interstate 276 east from I-95 to the Delaware River Bridge, and the unnumbered Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike Extension, became a part of the new Interstate 95 mainline. I-95 overtook the remainder of the New Jersey Turnpike north from there.
- Interstate 95 north from I-276 to the Trenton Beltline and east to I-195 became part of an extended Interstate 295 from New Jersey.
The missing connection between I-95 and I-276 dated back to 1969, when Interstate 95 was completed through Bucks County. An interchange could not be constructed at that time due to federal regulations prohibiting the use of federal funds for directly connecting an Interstate highway with a toll road. Separate studies in 1975-77 and 1984-88 advanced the notion of joining the two routes, but obstructions due to engineering and environmental issues prevented construction from progressing. A subsequent environmental impact study, emphasizing minimal impacts to socioeconomic and environmental resources, was completed in 2003. Design work followed from 2004 to 2008.4
Construction (Section S1) on the Turnpike / I-95 Interchange Project kicked off on October 25, 2010 with bridge work at the Bristol Oxford Valley Road overpass. Ensuing work on November 10, 2010 also replaced the Galloway Road overpass further west by a new mainline toll plaza. Complete by November 2011, both spans were replaced to accommodate a wider footprint for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.5
The Richlieu Road overpass at milepost 352.4 was also replaced during construction (Section S2) between late March 2012 and November 2013. Replacement of the Bensalem Boulevard bridge at milepost 355.1 (Section A1) also accommodated the new travel lanes of I-276. Work there was underway from early March 2015 to November 20, 2015.5
Section B of the project constructed a new 12 lane toll plaza with high speed E-ZPass lanes between the Richlieu and Galloway Road overpasses at milepost 352.6. Work in Bensalem Township from June 2013 to Summer 2016 coincided with both the Fall 2015 conversion of the plaza at the Delaware River Bridge at milepost 358 to all electronic tolling (AET), and the removal of the Bristol toll plaza for U.S. 13.6
Bids for Section D10 were taken starting on June 5, 2014. The three year project widened 2.5 miles of the Pennsylvania Turnpike east from I-95 to milepost 358 and completed pile driving and pier support work for the eventual Interstate 95 northbound flyover. Costing $142 million, work involved seven bridges and various retaining walls, noise walls and culverts.6 Running in tandem through 2017 was Section D20 construction for the flyover from I-276 westbound to I-95 south and bridge superstructure work for the Interstate 95 northbound flyover.5
Interchange work (Section A1) along Interstate 276 at the Bensalem interchange with U.S. 1 was previously anticipated to run from August 2016 to May 2019. That work entered the design phase by July 2021. Among other changes involving lighting and drainage, existing bridges over the turnpike mainline will be rebuilt, the westbound entrance ramp will be realigned and a new eastbound off-ramp will be constructed.5
The Delaware Valley interchange was redesigned to eliminate the trumpet interchange with U.S. 13. A signalized intersection replaced the grade separation between Bristol Pike and the Pennsylvania Turnpike access road. Construction on the Route 13 Connector commenced in Spring 2018. Traffic switched to the final configuration on August 28, 2020. Landscaping work and other punchlist items continued to Spring 2021.
Construction from January 19, 2017 to August 17, 2018 replaced the Hulmeville Road (PA 513) overpass. This work accommodates future expansion of I-276 to six lanes (Section C).5
Long term construction for the PA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange includes the following:
- Section A – Widening and reconstruction of I-276 from west of Pennsylvania 132 (Street Road) to Richlieu Road. This work follows the May 2019 completion of the Bensalem interchange construction at U.S. 1.
- Section E – Expansion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike westbound to three lanes from the Delaware River Bridge toll plaza to the new flyover for Interstate 95 south. Reconstruction will also take place for the eastbound on-ramp and westbound ramps at the Delaware Valley Interchange.
- Section D30/D40 – Adds the remainder of the ramps between Interstates 95, 276 and 295, replaces the turnpike bridge over Neshaminy Creek and expands I-295 north.
- Parallel Delaware River Bridge – construction of a new span south of the existing steel arch bridge. Upon completion, the old bridge will closed for rehabilitation and eventually reopened for westbound traffic.
The Delaware River Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built over a two year period, with ground breaking on November 20, 1952. $65 million in bonds issued by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission funded construction, which wrapped up on November 17, 1954. The Delaware River Turnpike Toll Bridge, which was a joint project between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, broke ground on June 22, 1954. Costing $27.2 million, the arched steel truss bridge opened to traffic on May 23, 1956.1
With the establishment of the Interstate system, the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline received the designation of Interstate 80S west from Valley Forge and Interstate 280 east from Valley Forge. These routes were not posted in the field, and by 1964, I-80S east from Monroeville to Camden was renumbered as Interstate 76. All branch routes for I-80S east were renumbered as well, with I-280 along the Delaware River Extension changed to Interstate 276.
Expansion of Interstate 276 to six lanes between Valley Forge (milepost 326) and Norristown (milepost 333) commenced in 1998 with a $35.6 million project to replace the Schuylkill River Bridge. The overall project was finished by November 21, 2008.2
Two partial access E-ZPass only exits were added to Interstate 276. The westbound exit to Virginia Dive in Upper Dublin Township opened to traffic in December 2000. It was followed by the opening of a new eastbound exit to Street Road (PA 132) in Bucks County on November 22, 2010. The Bensalem Township interchange (Exit 352) cost $7.4 million, with work started in May 2009.3
East End – Levittown, Pennsylvania
The flyover carrying Interstate 95 north onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline opened to traffic on September 23, 2018. Traffic along I-276 east merges with the high speed ramp from the right side. The total build out of the new interchange between the two routes will provide full access with four flyovers. 12/27/18
Former East End / Delaware River Tpk Toll Br – Bristol, PA
East at Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike Extension
Entering the original trumpet interchange with the turnpike access road for U.S. 13. The forthcoming toll plaza was demolished by 2015 while the eastbound ramp at Exit 358 was shifted westward in 2016.
U.S. 13 parallels I-95 south toward Philadelphia. Northward, U.S. 13 ends in 6.4 miles at U.S. 1 by Fallingston and Morrisville. 08/30/15
west at Delaware River Turnpike Toll Bridge
West End – King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Interstate 76 west overtakes the remainder of the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline to Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and the Ohio Turnpike gateway near Youngstown. US. 202 parallels the toll road to the south along a freeway stemming west from King of Prussia to Paoli, Malvern and Frazer en route to West Chester. 12/19/17
The first guide sign for the Valley Forge interchange appears west of the PA 252 (Valley Forge Road) overpass and Valley Forge Service Plaza. Signs for Exit 326 omit Interstate 276 in favor of I-476, which alludes to the indirect connection made with the Mid-County Expressway at Plymouth Meeting prior to 1992. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (06/24/08).
Interstate 76 splits with the Pennsylvania Turnpike in one mile to join the Schuylkill Expressway southeast to Conshohocken and Philadelphia. Connections with U.S. 202 nearby lead motorists to King of Prussia Mall, Valley Forge National Park (via U.S. 422 west), and the U.S. 202 freeway southwest to West Chester. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (06/24/08).
Interstate 276 begins as I-76 turns southeast from the Pennsylvania Turnpike toward Gulph Mills and Conshohocken.
I-276 appears here now, but previously the pull through panel at Exit 326 inexplicably featured a New Jersey Turnpike trailblazer. The PA Turnpike otherwise extends another 32.8 miles to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike Extension in New Jersey. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (06/24/08).
Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) enters a full cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 202 just ahead of the toll plaza for the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276). A five-year project reconstructed the exchange with the U.S. 202 freeway to further eliminate weaving traffic by separating movements from I-76 west to the nearby beginning of U.S. 422. 12/19/16
The Schuylkill Expressway mainline bypasses all ramps with U.S. 202 (Exits 328B/A) to lead directly to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Completed in October 2003, the interchange upgrade for U.S. 202 added overpasses for the loop ramps along the I-76 westbound c/d roadway and new distributor roadways along U.S. 202 between U.S. 422 and the Schuylkill Expressway. 12/19/16
West End Throwback
Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) west at the c/d roadway for Exits 328B-A and 327 during 1998-03 construction at U.S. 202. With the change to the ramps with U.S. 202, the addition of the Norfolk Southern Railroad truss bridge, and the demolition of an adjacent industrial business, the look of this area changed dramatically. 10/11/01
Exit 328A previously departed from the c/d roadway as it separated from Interstate 76 west. This movement is now located further from the freeway mainline.
Reducing weaving traffic, the loop ramp from U.S. 202 north here was later elevated to pass over the c/d roadway and merge from the left instead of the right. 10/11/01
- Pennsylvania Highways: Interstate 276.
- Six Lane Widening Project,
www.sixlanewidening.com/PennDOT, project web site.
- “New Pa. Turnpike ‘E-ZPass-Only’ Interchange Opens in Bucks County.” Pennsylvania Turnpike, press release. November 22, 2010.
- Project Overview.
https://www.patpconstruction.com/ paturnpikei95/project-overview.aspxPA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange Project web site.
https://www.patpconstruction.com/ paturnpikei95/construction.aspxPA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange Project web site.
- Design Advisory Committee (DAC) Meeting #11 and Public Officials Briefing,
https://www.patpconstruction.com/ paturnpikei95/documents/DACMeeting052815.pdfonline document. May 28, 2015.
- Delaware River-Turnpike Toll Bridge Bridgehunter.com.
Page updated April 12, 2023.