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Posted on November 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM by Michael Stokes
On Monday, September 9, 2013 County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards were joined by past county commissioners, state and local elected officials, planning and engineering staff, and local residents to break ground on the $60 million Lafayette Street Extension Project.
This initiative will improve highway access and mobility into downtown Norristown and Plymouth Township, open up the Schuylkill Riverfront, and reduce congestion along the Ridge Pike and Conshohocken Road corridors.
Commissioner Shapiro called the Lafayette Street Extension a “transformative project that is more than a decade in the making.”
The project will widen and reconstruct Lafayette Street, transforming it from a two lane industrial backside street to a four lane modern boulevard with a landscaped median parallel to the multi-use Schuylkill River Trail. It will also extend the roadway east to Diamond Avenue.
This first contract, Phase 1, worth $11.5 million, will extend Lafayette Street to Diamond Avenue and Conshohocken State Road. Phase 2, scheduled to begin in 2014, will improve local roads including Ridge Pike, Diamond Avenue, and Fairfield Road. The third phase will involve the actual reconstruction and widening of Lafayette Street and is expected to be complete around 2016.
Shapiro described the project as one that would open up a critical corridor into the county seat, create jobs, and improve the access between Norristown and Plymouth. He thanked Marc Jonas, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission Board and Dulcie Flaharty, a longtime Planning Commission board member and current Vice Chair of the Board, for keeping the project alive and allowing it to get to its current stage.
Commissioner Richards called the groundbreaking “a huge day for transportation in Montgomery County.”
“This will be a major change of life not just for Norristown but for Plymouth Township as well,” said Plymouth Township Councilman Sheldon Simpson. “It’s been great working with our commissioners and elected officials.”
Barely a month into his new post as Norristown’s municipal manager, Crandall Jones was enthused at the promise Lafayette Street held for the community. “This is an economic infusion of vitality,” he said. “I look forward to the days, weeks, and months ahead to see this transformation come to life.”
For more information on the Lafayette Street Extension Project, please visit: www.lafayettestreetproject.com
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