Road projects to begin in Norristown.

Posted: February 08, 2013

Revitalizing downtrodden buildings and roads has been a priority for decades in Norristown. This month, several projects take big steps forward.

On Monday, crews will begin removing trees on Markley Street between Elm Street and Johnson Highway. The work is part of the state Department of Transportation's Route 202 improvement project.

In March, after the trees and utility poles have been removed, the contractor will begin replacing the 1.1-mile stretch of road, according to a PennDot news release.

Markley Street will be rebuilt with one lane in each direction and a left-turn lane in the middle. The Main Street bridge over Stony Creek will be restored. Residential areas will get recessed parking, the southwest corner of Markley at Harding Boulevard will get a parking lot, and the road will get new traffic signals, wheelchair-friendly curbs, fresh landscaping, and highway cameras and dynamic messaging signs.

For the next three years, there will be intermittent lane closures and parking restrictions.

The second phase of the project - Markley from Elm Street to Main - is scheduled for construction in spring 2015.

Another Norristown transportation project moved forward Thursday when the Montgomery County commissioners approved contracts for the first phase of construction on Lafayette Street.

That project would extend Lafayette to the Pennsylvania Turnpike to ease traffic and boost access to downtown Norristown and its waterfront.

The cost is $54.4 million - 80 percent in federal dollars and 20 percent in county dollars.

The first phase - extending Lafayette to Conshohocken Road and Diamond Avenue - began in May with the demolition of a handful of vacant homes.

The commissioners Thursday also approved a land transfer and affordable-housing grant to redevelop an underused parking lot at DeKalb and Airy Streets.

Pennrose Properties, a Philadelphia-based developer, wants to build a mixed-use affordable housing complex. It would include 96 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 60 reserved for low-income renters. The four-story brick building would include 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Contact Jessica Parks at 610-313-8117, or follow her on Twitter @JS - Parks.

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