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September 27, 2016

PennDOT to begin work on plan to use I-76 shoulders as part-time travel lanes

PennDOT will begin preliminary engineering soon to turn the outside shoulders on two stretches of the Schuylkill Expressway into part-time travel lanes to ease traffic congestion.

Construction on the $125 million project is not planned to begin for about five years, however.

The strategy would be employed in both directions between the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange at Valley Forge and the Blue Right, and on I-76 west between the U.S. 1/Roosevelt Boulevard and Belmont Avenue interchanges, according to PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards, who announced Tuesday a long-term plan to address gridlock on the highway at peak travel times.

“Part-time shoulder use is currently in place in 16 states across the country and we plan to implement it on I-76 to help reduce congestion,” Richards said in a statement.

IThe agency will obtain input and guidance from State Police and local emergency responders to ensure driver safety, she said. Insight will be gathered from transportation authorities in states that employ part-time shoulders.

The use of a part-time shoulder will be considered for I-76 east of the I-476 Interchange when further funding is identified, the agency said.