The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and Secretary of Transportation Barry J. Schoch joined local officials yesterday to open the US Route 202 Parkway (Parkway), a new $200 million, 8.4-mile roadway that provides a direct travel route between Doylestown, Bucks County, and Montgomeryville, MontgomeryCounty. The opening of the Parkway marks the culmination of a community-wide partnership several years in the making.
“Today we usher in a new transportation era in Bucks and Montgomery counties with the opening of the Route 202 Parkway,” Cawley said. “The state’s newest roadway brings a badly needed infusion of capacity along a busy corridor to help reduce congestion and enhance traffic flow.”
This Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) project was a joint design effort by Michael Baker, Jr., Inc., McCormick Taylor, and Urban Engineers, Inc. (Urban), which applied a proactive highway design approach, sustainable design concepts, innovative traffic engineering, and context-sensitive design solutions.
The design team worked with stakeholders to develop design criteria that matched design speed to the desired posted speed limit, utilized a curvilinear alignment to minimize straight-aways, adjusted for reduced driver’s visual distance by using horizontal and vertical curvature at the upper limit of design criteria to control speed, and included landscaped splitter islands to calm traffic. Working with PennDOT, specifications were developed for a traffic-adaptive system for signalized intersections, which utilized turn lanes.
Bike lanes and shared-used paths were constructed along the full length of the Parkway to encourage non-motorized transportation options. In addition, sidewalks were incorporated in certain areas. Connecting a shared-use path to adjacent residential and commercial developments and five trailhead parking areas further enhanced the advantages of this new bicycle/pedestrian system.
Innovative stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) were incorporated, including bioretention sites, infiltration trenches and vegetated swales, riparian plantings for stream mitigation, and traditional volume control basins. Non-structural BMPs include 11-foot (versus 12-foot) lane widths, three-foot pervious soil/aggregate shoulders, vegetated islands, and extensive native plantings. The design team designed 11 bridges, six pre-stressed concrete open bottom arch culverts, and several retaining walls to minimize environmental impacts. The structures included bridges over the Parkway, as well as structures over waterways and other roadways.