Penn Street Bridge work to bring big traffic change

Route 422 West ramp to close at 10 p.m. Sunday

READING, Pa. - Anyone who travels Route 422 West into downtown Reading is in for a big change starting Sunday.

The westbound ramp from the West Shore Bypass to the Penn Street Bridge will be closed at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday and remain closed until October 2019.

During that time, westbound motorists are advised to exit the bypass at Lancaster Avenue and use the Bingaman Street Bridge to Fifth Street as a detour route into center city.

Anyone who misses the Lancaster Avenue exit can continue west on the bypass to the North Wyomissing Boulevard exit and follow North Wyomissing Boulevard to Park Road and Penn Avenue.

LINK: Penn Street Bridge detours

Also Sunday, eastbound traffic across the bridge will be reduced to one 11-foot-wide lane and remain that way until the Penn Street Bridge rehabilitation project is completed in December 2019.

This is the first major traffic pattern change for the three-year, $42.5 million project. The bridge itself will remain open while the work is being done, but various travel restrictions will be put in place during the course of the project.

Both westbound lanes of the bridge will remain open until the last stages of the project, when traffic will be reduced to just one lane.

Front Street beneath the bridge will be closed to traffic between May 15 and August 15.

During that time, northbound traffic will be detoured onto Franklin Street, Third Street, Washington Street and back to Front Street.

Southbound traffic will be detoured onto Washington Street, Second Street, Franklin Street and back to Front Street.

Pedestrian traffic along Front Street will also be restricted during the closure.

The work on the bridge will include concrete repair, superstructure replacement, ramp work at the Penn Street / Route 422 interchange, ornamental lighting and traffic signal lighting.

The 27-span concrete arch bridge, constructed in 1913, is downtown Reading's primary gateway from the city's western suburbs, with an average daily traffic volume of nearly 34,000 vehicles traveling over the Schuylkill River and Front Street.

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