There’s a new way to go.
Anybody who wants to hop on Interstate 95’s southbound lanes can use a new entrance ramp at State Road and Longshore Avenue.
The ramp, which is much wider that other 95 entrance ramps, was opened to traffic on Aug. 16. The on-ramp at Princeton Avenue was closed, and it is being demolished this weekend.
The ramp should speed the ride to Center City, but construction on the southbound side of State Road was no help to motorists in a hurry last week. Daytime traffic was crawling past the work area last Wednesday.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the new ramp at State and Longshore is one of two new on-ramps planned under PennDOT’s two-stage project to rebuild and improve the Cottman Avenue Interchange and 1.4 miles of I-95 between Bleigh Avenue and Levick Street.
The new Longshore Avenue on-ramp has been built under the ongoing first stage of this I-95 project, which also includes improvements to the existing northbound on-ramp from Princeton Avenue and changes to surface roads in the interchange area.
A second southbound on-ramp, which will be accessed from Cottman Avenue east of State Road, will be built under the second stage of the project that is scheduled to be under construction in early 2012.
With the new ramp opened, crews on the $31.9 million project will begin demolishing the old Princeton Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-95, including removal of the ramp’s overpass at State Road.
Tentative plans call for that overpass to be dismantled during the weekend of Aug. 26-28. State Road traffic will be detoured at Princeton Avenue at that time.
Additionally, PennDOT plans new traffic patterns on sections of Princeton and Cottman avenues over the next month as crews complete the ramp removal and related improvements to the intersection of Princeton Avenue and State Road.
Those new traffic patterns include changing Princeton Avenue from an eastbound-only street to a two-way street between Torresdale Avenue and State Road and changing Cottman Avenue from a westbound-only street to a two-way street between Torresdale Avenue and State Road.
In addition, State Road has been widened to include two southbound lanes and one northbound lane between Cottman Avenue and New State Road.
Work also is continuing on the existing northbound on-ramp at Princeton Avenue, which is being widened to accommodate a spur ramp that will be built from Milnor Street in autumn.
Motorists can log on to 511pa.com or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions on major highways before heading out.
For more information, call 610-205-6700 or visit www.dot.state.pa.us/district6 ••