After more than a dozen years of talk and speculation, the Route 13 revitalization project is expected to begin in just weeks.
The project will begin at the end of January when contractors will begin utility work and drainage installation in the area of Route 13 and Green Lane, PennDOT spokesperson Charles Metzger said.
The estimated $40 million project will revamp the roadway from Veterans Highway (Route 413) to the Levittown Parkway. The communities of Bristol, Bristol Township and Tullytown will be impacted by the project.
Crews will revitalize the busy commuter route by creating a new median, reconstructing the roadway, adding left turn lanes and ridding the area of several jug handles.
Asphalt will replace the recognizable tan concrete road surface that currently makes up the 4 mile stretch of road projected to be redone. The transportation department is shifting to asphalt for the project due to its lower cost and ease of maintenance and repair, Metzger said.
After dozens of pedestrian deaths along the roadway, including three in the past two months, PennDOT will be installing curbs and sidewalks along portions of the roadway in Bristol and Bristol Township, Metzger said. He added that the sidewalks will feature handicap accessible ramps.
“Walking along the road at dark is scary,” Jesus Izquierdo, a Philadelphia resident and local laborer who often walks on the shoulder, said. “There are no paved paths or nothing.”
Sidewalks along the road have been requested by local residents for years. Motorist often see pedestrian walking on the shoulder, just feet from vehicles traveling well over the assigned speed limit.
Bridges that cross the Otter Creek and Adams Hollow Creek are also slated to be overhauled during the project, which will temporarily reduce the lanes of travel.
PennDOT designs also permanently reduce the lanes of travel in each direction from three to two in part of Bristol Township and Tullytown.
Moving forward, the project’s contractor, James D. Morrissey Inc., is set to meet with state and local officials in the coming weeks and set out a construction schedule for the work. PennDOT plans to create a website to update the motoring public on the status of the work, Metzger said.
According to Metzger, road crews will cooperate with businesses situated along the work zone and make sure that access is maintained throughout the project.
“We’ve tried to take everything into account for this project,” the spokesman said.