One of the area’s busiest roads is now getting a much needed makeover.
A $2.8 million project to repair and resurface nearly five miles of Route 1 (City Ave) in Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township began Monday night at 7 p.m.
PennDOT officials say the project is the first to make use of the state’s new transportation funding. Earlier this year, Governor Tom Corbett announced that more than $2.1 billion in highway and bridge projects would begin in 2014 through Act 89, the state’s new transportation funding law.
The project is financed with 100 percent state funds from Act 89, which PennDOT officials say has increased their construction budget by $600 million.
According to PennDOT spokesman Charles Metzger, the stretch of City Avenue wasn’t initially on the list for re-paving. That soon changed however after the brutal winter littered the road with potholes, causing headaches and plenty of flat tires for thousands of drivers.
“It’s horrific,” said Jameela Bynum of Overbrook. “Weaving in and out, trying not to have an accident or cause an accident and miss a pothole.”
Through the project, travel will be improved between Haverford Avenue and the bridge over the Schuylkill River on I-76.
Crews will repair the road base, remove the deteriorated riding surface, and repave the road with fresh asphalt. The project will also include new pavement markings and new curb ramps at four intersections.
Drivers should expect lane closures and slowdowns during construction, which will take place on weeknights from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bynum says the construction delays and lane closures are prices she’s willing to pay for better roads.
“I think we’ll have to put up with a little discomfort to get a safe traveling road,” she said.
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The resurfacing of City Avenue is expected to finish in August while all improvements are scheduled for completion in June of 2015.