Building a wider, safer West Shore Bypass in between cliffs, the Schuylkill River, railroad tracks and neighborhoods won’t be an easy task.
But PennDOT officials and engineers now have a rough idea of how they’ll do it.The proposed overhaul of Reading’s crash- and congestion-prone main artery – also known as Route 422 – calls for more lanes and completely redesigned interchanges.
The plan was unveiled Thursday during a transportation-planning meeting at the Reading Regional Airport. It’s expected to cost at least $550 million.
The plan represents an early draft. The details could change as engineers work out complications, such as what changes to the nearby Thun Trail will be needed and how they’ll keep the highway open during construction. And the work won’t happen anytime soon.
PennDOT figures it won’t be ready to start soliciting construction bids until at least 2022.
As for how long construction will take, that’s still anyone’s guess.