(WHTM) — Millions of people will be hitting the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday and Pennsylvania has many different roads. Highways, expressways, back roads, chip and tar roads, and many others snake their way through many parts of the Commonwealth.
But, which road is considered the busiest in the state?
This happens to be the infamous stretch of Interstate 76 near Philadelphia: The Schuylkill Expressway. This part of Interstate 76 is only 18 miles long and goes through the heart of the center city of Philadelphia.
Around 163,000 vehicles travel the highway within Philadelphia County and 109,000 more vehicles daily in Montgomery County, making this the busiest highway in Pennsylvania.
Construction dates back to the 1950s, before the interstate highway system was the standard for building roads. The road opened in 1958 and, according to the Philadephia Encyclopedia, it has been clogged since day one. Philadephia Encyclopedia states the road was constructed between 1950 and 1959 and much of the funds for the construction came from the Federal Highway Act of 1956.
By 1962, fatal accidents were regular and road experts found at least 10 deathtraps on the road. In the 1970s, state agencies redesigned and rebuilt exit ramps in the area of City Line Avenue and the Roosevelt Boulevard Extension. To help prevent fatal crashes, PennDOT planned to rebuild the expressway from Valley Forge to the Schuylkill River bridge.
According to pahighways.com the project began in 1985 and included repaving with skid-resistant materials, redecking and rebuilding 50 bridges, installing a Jersey barrier along the median, installing new reflective signs, and improving ramps, shoulders, and drainage. The project was completed in 1989.
Currently, construction on a portion of the expressway between Passyunk Avenue and the Walt Whitman Bridge told plaza is underway, which includes milling of pavement, adding drains, and removing and replacing sign structures. The project is slated to wrap up by the winter of 2023, according to pahighways.com.