Montgomery County officials are hoping that the recently completed highway extension will bring new economic opportunities to Norristown, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.
The goal of the two-decades-in-the-making, $90 million Lafayette Street Extension project is to increase access to downtown Norristown and ease commutes.
The extension corrects a gap in the transportation network for the region that has isolated the working-class town from the development that has made Montco one of the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania.
“Norristown is excited,” said Norristown Council President Derrick Perry. “We have one goal. That’s to move Norristown forward.”
The construction began in 2013. The extension starts a mile outside of Norristown in Plymouth Township and runs through downtown Norristown, parallel to Main Street.
“With this road access, there are plenty of other opportunities for redevelopment and investment in Norristown, and we think that its time is coming,” said Scott France, executive director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission.
The next step of the project, which includes the construction of the Lafayette Street interchange, will be done by Pennsylvania Turnpike. The $66 million project is currently in the engineering phase and is expected to be completed by 2025.
Read more about the highway extension at WHYY by clicking here.