"It's been said several times in the assembly that southeastern Pennsylvania is the engine of this state," said State Senator Stewart Greenleaf. "Our secretary of transportation recognizes that we need transportation infrastructure to prime that economic engine."
The project will be paid for by 100 percent federal funding, money that Lt. Governor Jim Cawley credited Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick for securing in Washington, D.C. and representatives in the state assembly for choosing the right projects to fund.
"This serves as an example of what we will be looking at as the commonwealth moves forward to make our roadways safer," said Cawley.
The three-year project will begin in early February with site preparation and is scheduled to finish in October 2017. The improvements on the highway include:
- Full depth pavement reconstruction of the existing four-lane concrete roadway and intersection improvements.
- Rehabilitation of the bridge over the Neshaminy Creek
- Rehabilitation of the bridge that spans the Little Neshaminy Creek and Creek Road
- Improvement of drainage
- Installation of new traffic signal equipment, guiderail, signs and pavement markings
- Relocation of aerial and underground utilities
- Tulip Road
- Kendarbren Drive/Private Drive
- Kendarbren Drive/Ridge Drive
- Bristol Road
- Meyer Way
- Almshouse Road
- Mill Road
“Today, we kick off a major project to rebuild and improve a key thoroughfare in Bucks County that is old, worn and badly in need of rehabilitation,” Cawley said. “Although the Route 263 improvement project is not financed with funds from Pennsylvania’s new transportation bill, it is indicative of the infrastructure enhancements that will be made across the state in coming years due to the influx of additional transportation dollars.”
As with any major road construction, the York Road project comes with the inevitable lane restrictions and traffic build-ups. Drivers will initially face weekday, off-peak lane closures as crews relocate or replace underground and aerial utilities. Later on, vehicles will navigate traffic pattern shifts and long-term, single-lane travel restrictions.
There will also be short-term weekend detours of intersecting streets along Route 263.
State Representative Kathy Watson hopes that Bucks County drivers take the traffic nuisances with a dash of optimism that the construction will mean fewer days of bumpy, pothole-strewn commutes.
"When drivers get caught in a backed up 263, they will know that the traffic means that something is being done about the York Road minefield," she said. "It will be a temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement."