This week a new interchange on the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened 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.
If you look on 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 never got built.
When I-95 was constructed back in the late 1960’s, federal funds did not provide the money needed to connect it to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Today, the project is a joint effort by both the Turnpike Commission and the federal government.
Jeffrey Davis is an engineer at the Turnpike Commission in charge of the project.
“The stage one portion is modifying the tolling and getting the I-95 connection re-routed and built onto the Turnpike. The price tag for that is $425 million. One of the big issues is getting the funding for the project and that’s why it takes time,” said Davis.
Davis says that first phase of connecting the two roads could be completed by 2016. But the second and third phases have yet to be funded.