The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has completed construction of 2.33 acres of wetlands to replace natural areas displaced by the project to widen and improve U.S. 322 (Conchester Highway) in Concord Township, Delaware County. The wetlands were replaced under a $7.4 million contract that also included preparation of the site for construction of a new maintenance facility adjacent to the highway.
The replacement wetland area was created at Cheney Road and Creek Road on the former Patterson Tract adjacent to Cheney University in Thornbury Township, Chester County. Construction began in October 2016 in advance of the start of work in spring 2017 on the roadway improvement project that is currently in progress.
PennDOT is required to replace wetland areas as a condition of the environmental permit for the project. Replacement wetlands are designed to be a close approximation of natural areas that are lost during construction. They act as a natural, self-regulating bio-system that is integrated ecologically with the surrounding landscape, planted with native flora and designed to attract wildlife.
In preparing the site for the new maintenance facility, PennDOT realigned Station Road North, excavated and graded the new location and installed utilities for a small office, several pieces of equipment, material storage buildings, and a parking area. Construction of the buildings will be performed under a separate, Pennsylvania Department of General Services contract prior to the start of the next phase of the U.S. 322 improvement project, Section 102, by early 2021.
The new facility, which will be located on the north side of U.S. 322 (Conchester Highway) near the realigned intersection of Station Road North/Fellowship Drive, will replace the existing maintenance facility located near the Route 261 (Foulk Road) Interchange in Bethel Township, where a new interchange will be built under the Section 102 project.
The realigned intersection was opened to traffic on May 16, as part of the traffic pattern change that shifted U.S. 322 (Conchester Highway) traffic onto the new eastbound pavement between U.S. 1 (Baltimore Pike) and Clayton Park.
Current construction, Section 101, is the first of two mainline projects to widen and reconstruct a 6.7-mile section of U.S. 322 (Conchester Highway) from U.S. 1 (Baltimore Pike) to just east of Route 452 (Market Street). Stage 2 construction is expected to finish in late 2020, completing the entire Section 101 contract.
Road-Con, Inc., of West Chester, Chester County, was the general contractor on the project which was financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.