BENSALEM, Pa., July 31 (UPI) -- Officials broke ground Tuesday on a connector between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 95, the main highway on the East Coast.
The $500 million interchange is part of a larger project to fill the last gap in I-95. Officials say it will reduce congestion on local roads northeast of Philadelphia and provide an easier commute for many drivers, WCAU-TV reported.
"We cannot expand our economy without expanding our transportation system," Gov. Tom Corbett said.
The turnpike runs 360 miles across Pennsylvania, connecting to the New Jersey Turnpike in the east and the Ohio Turnpike in the west. I-95 runs from the Canadian border in Maine to southern Miami.
While drivers have been able to travel north to south on limited-access highways through New Jersey, getting from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to I-95 south through Philadelphia or northbound has involved a short stretch on Route 1 or local roads.
"Years in the making, this link will enhance mobility for thousands of commuters throughout the corridor, improving safety and convenience not only for Turnpike users but anyone else using the region's roadway network," Turnpike Commissioner Pat Deon said.
Officials said the project will impose no new burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers since it will be funded by turnpike toll revenues and federal money allocated to I-95's completion.