Section RC1 Substantially Completed. Three New Bridges Under Construction North of the PA Turnpike
The project to improve U.S. 1 in Bucks County reaches significant milestones this fall with the substantial completion of Section RC1 and completion of two new bridges north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Section RC1, the first of three construction projects for PennDOT’s U.S. 1 Bucks Improvement Project, will be completed this fall after nearly four years of construction to widen and improve the roadway between the Turnpike Interchange and Old Lincoln Highway. Section RC2 remains focused on the construction of new U.S. 1 bridges over the Neshaminy Creek, over Rockhill Drive at the Neshaminy Exit, and over the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange.
The first of three projects under PennDOT’s initiative to improve travel and safety on the U.S. 1 corridor in Bucks County, the $95 million Section RC1 contract between Old Lincoln Highway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Bensalem Interchange will be substantially finished in early fall.
Under construction since late 2018, Section RC1 reconstructed and widened approximately one mile of U.S. 1, and replaced bridges over Street Road (Route 132), the Turnpike and its ramps. The Bristol Road bridge over U.S. 1 also was replaced under this first section to accelerate work on the U.S. 1 widening currently underway under Section RC2.
In addition, a third travel lane was constructed in each direction, medians were widened to provide 12-foot-wide inside shoulders, and driveway accesses from U.S. 1 to Street Road were relocated. The road’s profile also was raised to improve vertical clearances over Street Road (Route 132), the Turnpike and its ramps.
The U.S. 1 interchange with Street Road (Route 132) also was reconstructed. The westbound Street Road (Route 132) ramp was relocated to the south side of the highway, where it shares a new signalized intersection, with turn lanes, with the off-ramp from northbound U.S. 1. Ramps to and from southbound U.S. 1 were constructed west of U.S. 1, with access at another new signalized intersection.
Left-turn lanes also were added in both directions at the Turnpike’s westbound slip ramp intersection on Street Road (Route 132), and a new on-ramp from eastbound Street Road (Route 132) to southbound U.S. 1 was added.
Section RC1 included replacement of the ramps to and from U.S.1 and the Turnpike interchange.
Post-construction “punch list” adjustments, with associated short-term travel restrictions, may continue in the RC1 work area through spring 2023
Section RC2 construction north of the Turnpike continued with excavation in the northbound and southbound shoulder areas, where an additional lane will be built in each direction through the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange.
Also at that interchange, the northbound ramp to Penndel/Business U.S. 1 has been reconstructed and widened. A temporary traffic signal is in place during construction at the turn-around at the bottom of the ramp to southbound Old Lincoln Highway.
On the southbound side, crews completed deck construction on the new southbound U.S. 1 bridge over the Neshaminy Creek and began construction of the third southbound lane south of the bridge through to the Neshaminy Interchange. The bridge is currently being used as the on-ramp to southbound U.S. 1 from Old Lincoln Highway while the new mainline bridge approach is being constructed.
A major traffic pattern shift is expected in spring 2023 that will move two lanes of northbound and southbound U.S. 1 traffic onto the new southbound bridge, allowing the existing bridge to be dismantled and demolished over the winter months. Once the bridge and its supports are removed, work will get underway to build the new northbound structure.
North of the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 interchange, construction also is progressing on the new northbound bridge over the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange and the adjacent rail lines (see above). At the completion of this structure later this fall, two lanes each of northbound and southbound U.S. 1 traffic will be moved onto the new span and then shifted to the west as part of the traffic shift onto the new southbound bridge over Neshaminy Creek. Work will begin to remove and replace the original southbound bridge.
The section of Old Lincoln Highway between the southbound on-ramp and Bristol Road also was reconstructed over the summer and reopened in early fall.
In late summer, following work started on replacing the U.S. 1 bridge over Rockhill Drive at the Neshaminy Exit. U.S. 1 traffic was shifted to the existing southbound bridge, and work is now underway to replace the northbound side of the overpass with a wider structure to accommodate the widening on U.S. 1. The on-ramp to southbound U.S. 1 from Rockhill Drive has been closed for construction to improve the interchange. Section RC2 is expected to be completed in mid-2026.
The contracts, RC1 and RC2, are part of PennDOT’s three-phase project to improve four miles of U.S. 1 in Bucks County by reconstructing and widening the pavement, replacing several bridges, and improving several interchanges along a three-mile section of highway in Bensalem and Middletown townships.
PennDOT in 2014 completed $14.8 million in improvements at the U.S. 1/Maple Avenue Interchange in Middletown Township as part of their overall initiative to modernize and upgrade the U.S. 1 corridor in Bucks County.