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New all-electronic turnpike interchange opens outside Philly

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 12 2012 06:12:43 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 12 2012 07:10:03 AM CST
EZ Pass only turnpike interchange
MALVERN, Pa. -

Gov. Tom Corbett is calling a new all-electronic interchange on the Pennsylvania Turnpike a step in the state's ``journey to prosperity.''

Corbett attended the ribbon-cutting Tuesday for the exit and entrance ramps that connect the turnpike with Route 29 in Malvern, Chester County.

Officials say the improvement should cut congestion, and Corbett is touting its ability to attract businesses to the region.

The link is solely for use by E-ZPass customers, who make up two-thirds of turnpike users in southeastern Pennsylvania, officials said.

Construction for the $60 million project began in March 2011.

Located about halfway between the Downingtown and Valley Forge interchanges, the Route 29 interchange is designated as Interchange #320.

The 14-mile section of turnpike between Downingtown and Valley Forge is the heaviest traveled of any four-lane section on the east-west Turnpike mainline, carrying an average of 50,000 vehicles per day.

Corbett says that as the state makes it ``easier to reach our places of commerce, those offices and the jobs they create will flourish.''

The Republican governor says he wants to work with lawmakers on a long-term funding plan for transportation infrastructure.

“All-Electronic Interchanges are much less expensive to build and operate than cash toll plazas, and they represent the future of toll collection as the Turnpike works to convert to a cashless system in the coming years,” Commissioner Deon said. “Remember, this is an E-ZPass only facility. If the readers in the lane do not detect an E-ZPass signal, then an image of the license plate will be automatically captured, and the commission will mail a violation notice to the registered owner of that vehicle.”

According to turnpike officials, the first violation notice will include the toll from the furthest Turnpike entry point (Warrendale Toll Plaza, Allegheny County), which is $26.55, plus a $25 administrative fee for a total charge of $51.55.

If payment is not made, the administrative fee increases to $40 in the second violation notice, for a total charge of $66.55.