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The Post  
The Blue Route, I-476, Turns 20.
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 12/19/11 12:49 pm | updated: 12/19/11 12:49 pm
It opened December 19th, 1991. The 21.5 mile highway connecting the Turnpike at Plymouth Meeting to 95 near Chester, took many more years to complete though. They idea for the road dates back to the late 20's and 30's. Plans for multiple routes, each with a different 'color code' were drawn up, with the 'blue' plan being the only one selected. The first ground was broken in 1969, but construction was halted and restarted many times through lawsuits and court actions. The western suburbs were in need of a high speed alternative to surface routes like 320 and 252 but most people suffered from ‘not in my backyard’ syndrome when it came to actual construction.

Eventually it was completed in bits and pieces (the first section from I-76 north to Chemical Road was done in 1979), and now 20 years later, the highway has alleviated traffic on the side streets in Swarthmore, revitalized entire towns such as Conshohocken with office towers & commerce, night life & dining, and housing, and has created and kept jobs by making travel easier around the city. What do you think about our colorful highway?

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