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Ongoing work on Route 422 snarls traffic into, out of Berks

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 18 2014 03:37:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2014 04:58:44 PM CDT

Road work along part of Route 422 is leaving some drivers fed up, although the completed project will eventually shorten commutes, officials said.

LOWER POTTSGROVE TWP., Pa. -

Road work along part of Route 422 is leaving some drivers fed up, although the completed project will eventually shorten commutes, officials said.

"It's a nightmare for local residents," said Phil Detailer, of Pottstown. "It's a nuisance."

Detailer is one of many who travel east on 422, where road crews are constructing new bridges between the Sanatoga and Route 724 interchanges in Lower Pottsgrove Twp, Montgomery Co., and North Coventry Twp., Chester Co.

From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., one lane will be closed each weekday into next year.

But as much as drivers are frustrated now, officials suspect they will be pleased with the final results, which will include four new bridges that will open up traffic, said Ken Seal, PennDOT senior project engineer.

"You won't have the congestion that 422 typically has," said Seal. "There will be acceleration lanes, larger shoulders, larger lanes, which will be safer for the traveling public."

The construction is all part of a state- and federally funded $73.3 million PennDOT project, meant to improve a stretch of 422.

JD. Eckman Inc., of Chester County, is the general contractor on the project, which is expected to be completed by 2019, said Seal, although at this point, he said crews are ahead of schedule and will likely wrap up even sooner.

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During construction time, Seal is asking drivers to be patient, but many told 69 News that they're taking alternative routes instead.

"As much as I can," said Jeannette Weatherspy.

Still, most are overall happy to see the work getting done.

"It's nice to see your tax dollars at work," said Detwiler. "So I can't complain."