Road near airport to be rerouted

Posted: September 30, 2006

Motorists who use heavily traveled Route 291 near Philadelphia International Airport will find new twists in the road starting at 10 p.m. tomorrow.

The portion of the state route, also known as the Industrial Highway, between the airport and Interstate 95 is being rerouted onto Bartram Avenue to make room for construction to extend a runway. PennDot plans to erect barricades tomorrow to block the portion of Route 291 between Island Avenue and the 291-Scott Way intersection.

Under the routing, drivers traveling south on Route 291 over the Platt Memorial Bridge will make a right turn at the Island Avenue-Route 291 intersection, then a left turn onto Bartram. Those heading north will turn left at the Scott Way-Route 291 intersection and follow Bartram to Island and turn right.

Vehicles headed to the airport from the Schuylkill Expressway or from southbound or northbound I-95 will be unaffected. Those northbound in Delaware County on Route 291 will still be able to enter the airport but will not be able to exit toward Island Avenue.

PennDot began placing electronic message boards last week to alert drivers to the rerouting, said Rina Cutler, the agency's deputy secretary for administration.

The airport construction is part of an effort to reduce aircraft delays by adding 1,040 feet to Runway 17-35, a 5,500-foot north-south landing strip. The runway is used primarily by smaller jets and turboprop airplanes. With the extension, which is expected to be completed next year, it could be used by jets, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, that now can only use the airport's two longer east-west runways.

Contact staff writer Tom Belden at 215-854-2454 or tbelden@phillynews.com.

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