DELAWARE COUNTY, PA – With the recent introduction of two additional lanes and the implementation of numerous intersection improvements, US Route 322 is now better able to safely accommodate traffic on a heavily traveled corridor in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Recognized by the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (Delco PSPE) with the 2022 Outstanding Project Award, the SR 322, Section 101 project widened 2.5 miles of roadway to better support the anticipated demands on the corridor and alleviate current congestion.
In recent decades, travel on US Route 322 has increased to the point that the original infrastructure, built in the 1940s, couldn’t support the growth. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) engaged Benesch to find a solution that would allow US Route 322 to meet the modern transportation challenges of this corridor. Section 101 is the first of four projects planned to improve travel and safety of nearly seven miles of US 322.
“Benesch began working on the design of the entire corridor to address safety issues, operational deficiencies, and community concerns in 1993. The design has required many variations over the decades to keep pace with the evolving communities along the 7-mile corridor,” said Benesch Project Manager Alfred Tomaselli.
The project team worked closely with property owners, community members and elected officials to understand requests and incorporate them into a design that would give the community a safer, more reliable highway for their daily needs.
“With over 100 different property owners, retirement communities, industrial and commercial business owners, multiple municipalities and state representatives, our biggest challenge was to weave those requests into the design of SR 322 without compromising PennDOT’s project,” said Tomaselli.
In addition to the roadway widening, a grass median was added to reduce crashes, and left turn lanes and adaptive traffic signal systems were implemented to increase the capacity of several existing intersections. Ten storm water management basins, two rain gardens, four miles of pipes, 8,300 trees and shrubs and 90,000 cubic yards of topsoil were placed to address the environmental impact associated with this expansion.
Last week, Tomaselli and members of the project team attended Delco PSPE’s Engineers Week Banquet where the project was recognized for its selection for the Outstanding Project Award.
“I am humbled and ecstatic to know that our team has done something that the engineering community identifies as worthy of such an award,” said Tomaselli. “I look at this as the community’s stamp of approval that the final product meets and exceeds their expectations.”