The Pennsylvania Turnpike has opened a new interchange in Bucks County. The Street Road exit will help gamblers get to the Parx Casino in Bensalem. But getting directly from I-95 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike is still years away.
Looking at a map, you can see where I-95 and the Turnpike cross in Bucks County. But getting from one to the other requires about a five-mile drive through downtown Bristol.
The planned $1.4 billion project that would connect the two roads will also help plug the only gap left in the I-95 corridor — that 25 mile stretch north of Trenton, through Princeton, which was never built.
When I-95 was constructed in the late 1960s, federal funds did not provide the money needed to connect it to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Today, the project is a joint effort of the Turnpike Commission and the federal government.
Jeffrey Davis, an engineer at the Turnpike Commission in charge of the project, said the first part of the plan involves modifying the tolling and getting the I-95 connection rerouted and built onto the Turnpike.
“The price tag for that is $425 million,” said Davis. “One of the big issues is getting the funding for the project and that’s why it takes time.”
Davis said that first phase of connecting the two roads could be completed by 2016. But the second and third phases have yet to be funded.