U.S. 422 IN VALLEY FORGE
Status of the Project: Ongoing
Construction Started: Summer 2016
Construction Completion Date:
Cost: $97,400,000, funded through ACT 89
General Contractor: J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Chester County
Construction Manager: JBC Associates, Inc.
PROJECT UPDATE - October 2020
All lanes on U.S. 422 Eastbound are now open, and all Median work is coming to a close. Structures work is complete on all five bridges on the project. Next week we will begin the process of placing Westbound 422 into its final configuration. Temporary Barrier will be removed and the lanes will be placed in their final configuration over a two/three week period. This work will be at night, starting 10/11/20 and finishing the week of 10/26/20. Paving and lighting work on S. Trooper Road under 422 will be completed during the next three weeks as well.
As was stated at the most recent U.S. 422 SRB Stakeholder Meeting on February 13, 2020, PennDOT was on schedule to complete all contract work on this project by May 14, 2020, with additional pavement improvement work to be performed this summer on U.S. 422 just west of the Route 363 (Trooper Road) Interchange.
However, during the time construction was suspended for six weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a Peregrine Falcon nest was established on the new U.S. 422 eastbound bridge that is still under construction. In Pennsylvania, the Peregrine Falcon is threatened and protected under the Game and Wildlife Code.
Following a review by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), the PGC determined that potential impacts to this threatened species of bird may be associated with this project. Therefore, restrictions were placed upon the department to avoid potential impacts to the Peregrine Falcons and the nesting falcons, which will prohibit the performance of a number of construction-related activities until after July 31, 2020. The PGC, which did provide some relief and is working with the project team, is allowing the contractor to perform some operations that are 300 feet-to-1,000 feet away from the nesting falcons; however, a number of primary work items (e.g., deck repair, parapet construction, causeway removal from the Schuylkill River) are prohibited until August 1.
While work on this project resumed in early May, the combination of this unexpected development and the stoppage due to the coronavirus outbreak will move back the project completion to late this year. At this time, the department anticipates opening the new eastbound U.S. 422 bridge as early as mid-to-late September. The contractor will then begin repairing the pavement on U.S. 422 just west of the Route 363 (Trooper Road) Interchange, which will include replacing sections of deteriorated concrete. The department and its contractor will be working in concert to develop a strategic plan with the aim to bring the project to a successful completion this year.
The improvements to U.S 422 in the area of Valley Forge
consist of four separate projects involving the replacement or
rehabilitation of five (5) bridges to improve multi-modal travel and
reduce congestion between the Route 363 (Trooper Road) and
Route 23 (Valley Forge Road) and First Avenue interchanges.
The focal point of this program is the replacement and expansion of
five (5) U.S. 422 bridges and the widening of one mile of U.S. 422
between the Route 363 and Route 23 interchanges. Additional project
elements are noted below. Each day 92,000 vehicles travel on
U.S. 422’s four-lane structures in this area, along with pedestrians
and bicyclists who used the protected path alongside the highway’s eastbound lanes to cross the Schuylkill River. With the amount of crossings and important cultural attractions, office park areas and recreational amenities in the area, congestion in this section is a frequent occurrence.
Important additional project elements include:
Re-designed concrete pavement
Sound barrier wall
Two (2) retaining walls required due to the widening of the roadway
ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) connections allowing for the integrated use of technology for the assessment of vehicle movement, motorists alerts, queue detection, etc.
This section of the U.S. 422 improvements is known as the Schuylkill River Crossing Complex. With an estimated construction cost of $100 million, construction bids were opened on November 5, 2015, and construction commenced in late 2016. The project was accelerated by the passage of Act 89, which provided the critical funding.
The following project elements have been completed:
Westbound structure of the Schuylkill River Bridge (SRB) has been completed. Eastbound traffic has been routed onto the new bridge while removal and reconstruction the eastbound bridge takes place.
The U.S. 422 eastbound off-ramp at Route 23 (fly over) has been completed.
The rehabilitation of the Route 23 bridge is completed.