Two months of traffic headaches likely ahead for Unionville motorists
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
Oft-delayed, but unavoidable, it appears that the first scheduled closure of Route 926 at Route 52 will actually happen Tuesday, causing headaches for local commuters in Pocopson, Pennsbury, Kennett and East Marlborough townships for the next month — the start of what are expected to be two months of closures from the Route 52 rerouting project.
The closures were expected to happen in August, were delayed until Sept. 1, then Sept. 15, but now appears to be locked in for Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Route 926 will close between Route 52 and Parkerville Road in the first major closing phase of the Route 52 realignment project. Traffic headed eastbound on 926 will be rerouted to 52 South and then U.S. 1. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) says that the roadway should be closed until Oct. 22.
A second closure is planned for the west side of the intersection once work on the west side of the intersection is complete, and PennDOT says that could happen as soon as Oct. 23 — a closure expected to last through Nov. 9.
During the first closure, work will be done on the 926/52 intersection and the new roadway — an entirely new, nearly one-mile stretch of highway is nearly complete connecting U.S. 1 to 926 at the point where Pennsbury, Pocopson and East Marlborough meet — and estimates suggest the new roadway will open when the first phase of work is complete in October.
The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District has bus rerouting prepared and new route timings based on the closures. There was some confusion last week when the closure was delayed for a third time last week and some expected the new route timing to start on the 15th.
The work is part of the $15.4 million project to relocate Route 52 between Route 926 and Route 1 in Kennett, East Marlborough and Pennsbury. Construction is expected to finish in Sept. 2012. The project is designed to fix a dangerous intersection at the current Route 52/US-1/Longwood Gardens location, and will connect the two pieces of Longwood property currently on either side of Route 52. Most of the old Route 52 roadway will be torn up and replanted with trees.
The project will also improve US-1 and the US-1/Route 52 South intersection in Hammorton, widening it and adding extra lanes.
PennDOT is telling motorists they can log on to 511pa.com or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions on major highways before heading out.
You can follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews. For more information, visit www.dot.state.pa.us/district6 or call 610-205-6700.