Driving on the Shoulder of the Blue Route & I-95? PennDOT Has a Plan to Make It Happen

Transportation agency announces plan to alleviate traffic along busy Delaware County stretch of the Blue Route

Sick of traffic on the Blue Route and I-95? The shoulder could soon help alleviate the pain and the government wants you to use it (at certain times).

The Wolf Administration joined PennDOT Friday to announce plans to allow part-time shoulder use of Interstates 476 and 95 in Delaware County.

"We consistently look for creative ways to deal with congestion on Philadelphia regional expressways, and this new plan is aimed at alleviating bottlenecks on the Blue Route and on the stretch between the junction with Interstate 95 and the Commodore Barry Bridge," PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said in a Friday news release.

What stretches of highway can drivers use the shoulder as an extra lane?

  • About a 9-mile stretch of the Blue Route (I-476) from the West Chester Pike (Route 3) Interchange and the junction with I-95 in both the northbound and southbound directions.
  • Less than a 3-mile stretch of I-95 southbound from the Blue Route to the Commodore Barry Bridge (US 322 East).

When can drivers expect to use the shoulder?

PennDOT will work with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to work out the implementation, development and payment plans for the project over the next four years. Planners will also determine the best times for shoulder driving.

The earliest that construction could begin is early in 2020, PennDOT spokesman Brad Rudolph told NBC10. No word on when exactly drivers will actually be allowed onto the shoulder.

Similar shoulder-usage plans are planned for the Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76) in Montgomery County. That implementation is expected to take place ahead of the Blue Route plan, Rudolph said. [[395040201, C]]

"Constrained resources restrict our ability to add capacity to Philadelphia area expressways, but that does not mean we can’t look at ways such as dynamic part-time shoulder use to alleviate the congestion," Richards said. "This technique is in use across the nation and has been shown to be a safe and effective way to improve traffic flow."

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