US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Project Name: Blue Route and Schuylkill interchange
C03 Project ID: 9
Project type: Interchange
State: PA
Topic Supports: Integrated Planning Land Use Application
I-476, known locally as the Blue Route, intersects with Interstate 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) at Conshohocken. In the late-1980s ramps were built to provide access to developable waterfront land in Conshohocken via a bridge over the Schuylkill River as part of the construction of Interstate 476. The addition of the ramps promoted significant new development at the waterfront, attracted new businesses within a three-mile radius of the ramps, and increased tax revenues for Conshohocken which was originally a depressed area comprising much vacant land. A key role was played by one local developer who lobbied the state legislature for approvals and raised funds that would provide access to the Blue Route in Conshohocken. Additionally, the development was stimulated by the state's designation of the surrounding area as a State Enterprise Zone and the influx of significant funding from federal economic development programs.

New zoning regulations were put in place by the local planning agencies and adopted by the boroughs to accommodate mixed use development where previously the zoning only allowed industrial development. Since the ramps were completed and the highway was opened in 2002, the boroughs have continued to invest in public infrastructure; making them preferred locations for residents and businesses.