PA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange
The PA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange Project links Interstate 95 with the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276). Programmed construction also widens I-276 west to Trevose, I-95 east to Bristol, and I-95 south to Neshaminy Creek. 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. Replacing 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 runs from August 2016 to May 2019. Among other changes involving lighting and drainage, existing bridges over the turnpike mainline will be rebuilt, the westbound on-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 replaces the grade separation between Bristol Pike and the Pennsylvania Turnpike access road. Construction on the Route 13 Connector extends from 2018 to 2020.
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), which will commence once funding is identified.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 – This will be a part of Interstate 95 when construction starts in 2025 or later on a new span to be added to the south of the existing steel arch bridge. Upon completion, the old bridge will closed for rehabilitation and eventually reopened for westbound traffic.
The full build out of the I-95 / PA Turnpike Interchange
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