Conchester widening planned for February

It’s been discussed for decades, but work is about to start on the Route 322 — Conchester Highway — widening project.

“It’s really going to happen,” said state Rep. Stephen Barrar at the beginning of an informational meeting on the project that was held in Concord Township’s municipal building on Dec. 14.

Barrar and state Sen. Tom Killion arranged for the meeting between the public and engineers from PennDOT and its consultants.

Engineer Al Tomaselli, of Benesch Engineering, told the standing room only crowd that bids for the project will be opened next week and, if the bid is awarded then, shovels could hit the ground in February for the first phase of the project.

That phase, which covers a three-mile stretch from Route 1 to the Featherbed Lane/Mattson Road area at Clayton Park, is expected to take three years and cost an estimated $50-$60 million.

Tomaselli said the current traffic lanes will remain open and speed limits will remain at 45 mph during the construction, which he said should be completed by October 2020.

According to the engineer’s presentation, Conchester will be widened to four lanes with most of the extra width coming from the south side of the current road.

Those four lanes will be 12 feet wide and there will be a grass median separating the east and west bound traffic.

Included in the project will be upgraded traffic signals at four intersections — at Route 1, Evergreen Drive, Fellowship Drive and at the intersection with Mattson Road/Featherbed Lane.

Additionally, Conchester’s intersection with Spring Valley Road will become right in and right out only. Through traffic and left turns from Spring Valley will be eliminated, as will left turns onto Spring Valley from Conchester.

Left turns from Station Road South, Cambridge Drive and from Clayton Drive will also be eliminated.

A second phase of the widening project, which is still being designed, is expected to begin in 2019 and take four to five years at an estimated cost of $180.8 million.

That second phase would cover 3.7 miles from Featherbed Lane to just east of Route 452.

The project has its own website that, Tomaselli said, will be updated on a regular basis. His presentation is also to be uploaded to that site, www.us322-conchester.com.

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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