WEST CHESTER (May 4) – State Senator Andy Dinniman has requested that PennDOT accelerate construction of the Route 23 (Valley Forge Road) Bridge and work with municipalities to alleviate the traffic congestion and significant costs caused by closure of this vital thoroughfare.

Crews are currently in the process of replacing the 48-year-old bridge, which spans the Pickering Creek, and is traveled by almost 20,000 motorists a day. Construction on the $1.7 million project began on April 20 and is not scheduled to be completed until late this year.

Dinniman said the bridge’s closure has been a major problem for motorists, businesses and residents of the Phoenixville area.

park-6092_1280“To call it an inconvenience is an understatement,” he said. “My office has already received complaints from hundreds of drivers who have been stuck in traffic on the detour. And economically, it’s taking a major toll on area businesses and companies.”

“There is no question that the bridge needs to be replaced, but there must be a way to do so without undermining all the economic progress we’ve made in the Phoenixville region,” he added.

In a May 4 letter to Christine Reilly, Acting PennDOT District 6-0 Executive, Dinniman called on the department to do the following:

• Consider expediting the project by extending construction hours to include weekends and evenings.
• Consider providing assistance to municipalities for traffic management and control costs related to the project.

In addition, Dinniman suggested that PennDOT work with local municipalities on developing detour routes, noting that the bridge’s closure is pouring more vehicles onto already-congested roads.

“The present detour routes have resulted in extreme complications for those living or commuting throughout the Phoenixville area,” he wrote in the letter. “Further, it has come to my attention that many tractor trailers are disregarding PennDOT regulations and are following the traffic pattern reserved for non-commercial drivers through the downtown business district of Phoenixville borough.”