Growth and expansion marked the annual transportation update hosted by Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce last Tuesday afternoon, where more than 100 slides and nine speakers highlighted the rapidly changing landscape in and around Quakertown.
From the anticipated new St. Luke’s University Health Network Quakertown Campus to the actualization of Milford Village – both along Route 663; improvements at the Quakertown Turnpike Interchange at Route 476 and its impact to feeder roads, there’s no doubt transportation growth continues to be felt throughout the Quakertown Community School District portion of Upper Bucks County.
Amy Kaminski, transportation engineering department manager at Gilmore & Associates in Doylestown said improvements and synchronized traffic signals on Routes 309 and 663 are meant to improve traffic flows and ease congestion.
Kaminski said the transition of fiber optic data to PennDOT’s (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) Region 6 offices in King of Prussia would allow for adjustments to traffic signal timing and collect data to monitor travel patterns.
“The Route 309 system will be a more dynamic, responsive pattern…and should decrease expenses,” Kaminski said.
She said alerting travelers to problems using digital signage would help prevent backups and keep traffic moving.
The roughly $70 million bridge reconstruction project – part of the massive $225 million overall Pennsylvania Turnpike expansion project, takes into account travel on Route 663, where improvements are being completed “piecemeal” to accomplish joint municipal goals, said Milford Township Manager Jeff Vey.
“We’re doing this in small digestible pieces,” Vey said.
Vey noted historic highlights and roadway improvements from 1998 to 2006 included installing traffic signals at Route 663 and Portzer Road; Route 663 and Commerce Drive and at Quaker Pointe Drive, as well as closing the eastbound access to Mill Hill Road.
Beginning in June, the remaining Mill Hill Road access on the portion of Route 663 toward Quakertown will close.
As part of the Milford Village project, Mill Hill Road is being re-routed through the multi-use development, a joint venture between Lifequest Nursing Center and developer Del Markward of Caracor LLC in Upper Macungie Township.
“People have given their lives at that intersection,” Vey said.
Milford Village is a roughly 216-acre multi-use project, which includes nursing and assisted living care facilities, at-market housing and retail.
The project in Milford Township and fronted by Route 663 has been nearly two decades in the making.