Pennsylvania Route 12
|Maintained by PennDOT|
|Length:||9.566 mi (15.395 km)|
|Existed:||1999 – present|
|West end:||US 222 / US 422 in Wyomissing|
PA 61 in Muhlenberg Township
US 222 Bus. in Muhlenberg Township
PA 73 in Ruscombmanor Township
|East end:||PA 662 in Ruscombmanor Township|
Pennsylvania Route 12 (PA 12) is a 9.566-mile-long (15.395 km) state highway located in Berks County in eastern Pennsylvania. The western terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 222 (US 222) and US 422 in Wyomissing. Its eastern terminus is PA 662 in Ruscombmanor Township. In the Reading area, PA 12 is a four-lane freeway called the Warren Street Bypass that heads northeast through urban areas, coming to interchanges with several roads including PA 183, PA 61, and US 222 Bus. In Alsace Township, the route becomes a two-lane undivided surface road called Pricetown Road and continues northeast through rural areas, intersecting PA 73 before ending at PA 662.
Pricetown Road originally existed in the 18th century as a road to link farmers in Pricetown to markets in Reading. The Warren Street Bypass was first planned in 1949 as a widening of Warren Street in Reading leading to a new bridge over Tulpehocken Creek to Wyomissing. In the 1950s, the Warren Street Bypass was completed from Wyomissing northeast to US 222 (Allentown Pike, now 5th Street Highway) north of Reading, providing a bypass of Reading. US 222 was routed onto this bypass by 1976, with the Warren Street Bypass extended northeast to Pricetown Road in 1980. The part of the Warren Street Bypass northeast of US 222 along with Pricetown Road became State Route 2026 (SR 2026) when the Location Referencing System was established. In 1999, PA 12 was assigned to its current alignment following the rerouting of US 222 onto a new bypass of Reading.
PA 12 begins at an interchange with US 222 and US 422 in Wyomissing. Southwest of this interchange, the Warren Street Bypass continues as part of southbound US 222/ westbound US 422. US 222 northbound continues northwest and US 422 eastbound continues southeast on the West Shore Bypass. PA 12 does not have access to or from the northbound direction of US 222 at this interchange. From US 222/US 422, the route heads northeast on the four-lane divided Warren Street Bypass. PA 12 crosses Tulpehocken Creek into Reading and heads through commercial areas. Along this stretch, the route has no cross traffic, with access to some local streets as well as businesses while access to other local cross streets is blocked by barricades. The road comes to an interchange with PA 183, with access provided from right-in/right-out ramps to Butler Street and Lehigh Street in the northbound direction and to Carbon Street and Lackawanna Street in the southbound direction. The PA 183 interchange provides access to Reading Regional Airport, an airport with charter flights that is also home to the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. Following this interchange, the route becomes a freeway and heads near residential neighborhoods and turns north, running to the west of Norfolk Southern's Reading Line. PA 12 crosses the Schuylkill River and comes to a partial cloverleaf interchange with River Road.
From here, the freeway curves to the northeast and passes under the Reading Line, heading into commercial areas within Muhlenberg Township and coming to a partial cloverleaf interchange with PA 61 that has an eastbound exit and a westbound entrance along with an eastbound entrance from northbound PA 61. The PA 61 south exit provides access to FirstEnergy Stadium, the home ballpark of Minor League Baseball's Reading Fightin Phils. The route passes under Norfolk Southern's Pottsville Branch and comes to a partial cloverleaf interchange with US 222 Bus.; this interchange provides access from westbound PA 12 to PA 61 and northbound US 222. Past this interchange, the freeway passes near more development, reaching a diamond interchange with 11th Street. PA 12 heads into more wooded surroundings and curves northeast. The route comes to a partial cloverleaf interchange with Spring Valley Road and continues into Alsace Township, where the freeway ends.
After the freeway ends, PA 12 becomes a two-lane undivided surface road called Pricetown Road, continuing northeast through forested areas with some homes and businesses. The road passes through the community of Alsace Manor before crossing into Ruscombmanor Township, where it intersects PA 73. Past this intersection, the route continues through a mix of farmland and woodland with some homes. PA 12 ends at an intersection with PA 662 in the community of Pricetown, where Pricetown Road continues northeast as SR 2026 to an intersection with Lobachsville Road in the community of New Jerusalem in Rockland Township.
PA 12 has an annual average daily traffic count ranging from a high of 64,000 vehicles between the US 222/US 422 and PA 183 interchanges to a low of 8,700 vehicles between Walnuttown Road and PA 662. The portion of PA 12 along the Warren Street Bypass is a part of the National Highway System.
Pricetown Road dates back to the 18th century as a road linking the village of Pricetown to Reading. The road was used by farmers in the Pricetown area who traveled to Reading to buy and sell wares. Pricetown was settled in 1754 and grew into a village with three taverns and a general store that served the trade to and from Reading. In the 19th century, Pricetown Road was used to transport Montana horses from Temple to country auctions in the area. Pricetown Road was originally an unpaved road. Warren Street in Reading was constructed by 1920, running from Fayette Street near the Tulpehocken Creek east to a dead end near the Schuylkill River. In 1927, Pricetown Road was paved in concrete. The road was straightened at the Walnuttown Road intersection by 1940.
In 1949, plans were made to build a four-lane bridge across Tulpehocken Creek at Warren Street. As part of this plan, Warren Street was to be widened from the proposed bridge to Schuylkill Avenue. This widened Warren Street was envisioned to become part of a bypass route of Reading. The bridge and widening were approved with the provision that Warren Street only be widened as far as Schuylkill Avenue as not to build a bypass route through a residential area. Construction on the bridge and the Warren Street Bypass between US 422 (Harrisburg Pike, now Penn Avenue) and PA 83 (now PA 183, Schuylkill Avenue) began in 1950. In 1953, the Park Avenue Extension (now a part of the Warren Street Bypass along US 222/US 422) and the Warren Street Bypass from US 422 in Wyomissing to Tulpehocken Creek, along with the Tulpehocken Creek bridge, was finished, with a continuation of the Warren Street Bypass northeast from PA 83 to US 222 (Allentown Pike, now 5th Street Highway) proposed. Construction on the extension of the Warren Street Bypass to US 222 began in 1956 with the process of widening of the existing Warren Street. The PA 83 bridge over the bypass was built in 1957. In 1959, the Warren Street Bypass extension to US 222 was opened to traffic with the portion of Warren Street between Tulpehocken Creek and PA 83 widened to four lanes. The Warren Street Bypass included an interchange with the under-construction Reading Bypass (now US 422, West Shore Bypass) southwest of Tulpehocken Creek when it opened in 1959.
An extension of the Warren Street Bypass from US 222 to Pricetown Road was proposed in 1962. Two routes for the extension were proposed: one following a more southerly route as it does today and another following a more northerly route along Spring Valley Road, passing near the Bernhart Reservoir. The extension of the bypass was intended to provide access to a growing industrial park. In 1966, plans were made to make the portion of the Warren Street Bypass through the Glenside neighborhood of Reading limited-access by eliminating at-grade intersections with local streets, resulting in the streets coming to a dead end at the bypass. The more southerly route for the Warren Street Bypass extension between US 222 and Pricetown Road was selected by 1969. On November 15, 1975, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved for US 222 to be routed to bypass Reading, with the route following the Warren Street Bypass between US 422 in Wyomissing and Allentown Pike. In 1976, construction began on the extension of the Warren Street Bypass between US 222 and Pricetown Road. The portion of the Warren Street Bypass between Spring Valley Road and Pricetown Road was completed in July 1979 while the portion between 11th Street and Spring Valley Road was completed in December 1979. In 1980, the remainder of the Warren Street Bypass extension between US 222 and 11th Street was completed.
With the establishment of the Location Referencing System for state roads in 1987, the Warren Street Bypass between US 222 and Pricetown Road, along with the entire length of Pricetown Road northeast to New Jerusalem, became SR 2026. In 1998, US 222 was rerouted to a freeway alignment northwest of Reading following the completion of the Park Road Corridor; the PA 12 designation was given to the Warren Street Bypass northeast of US 222/US 422 in Wyomissing as well as to SR 2026 up to the intersection with PA 662 in 1999.
The entire route is in Berks County.
|Wyomissing||0.000||0.000||US 222 south / US 422 west – Lancaster, Lebanon||Continuation beyond western terminus|
|0.000||0.000||US 422 east – Pottstown|
|Reading||0.616||0.991||PA 183 (Schuylkill Avenue) – Reading Airport|
|Muhlenberg Township||1.927||3.101||PA 61 (Centre Avenue)||Eastbound exit and entrance, westbound entrance, to FirstEnergy Stadium|
US 222 Bus. (5th Street) to US 222 north – Allentown
|3.959||6.371||Spring Valley Road|
|Alsace Township||4.600||7.403||East end of freeway section|
|Ruscombmanor Township||7.838||12.614||PA 73 (Blandon Road) to US 222 – Maiden Creek, Oley, Allentown|
|9.566||15.395||PA 662 (Memorial Highway) – Fleetwood, Oley|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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- Berks County (PDF)
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- "General Info". Reading Regional Airport. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Mid Atlantic Air Museum". Reading Regional Airport. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
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- Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (November 15, 1975). U.S. Route Numbering Committee Agenda Showing Approved Actions of the Executive Committee (PDF) (Report). St. Louis, MO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 466. Retrieved January 27, 2015 – via Wikimedia Commons.
- General Highway Map Berks County, Pennsylvania Sheet 1 (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1976. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
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- "This Week's News in Review". Reading Eagle. December 28, 1979. p. 3. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
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- Youker, Darrin (June 18, 2006). "The wait is over". Reading Eagle. p. A1. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
Route map: Bing
- Media related to Pennsylvania Route 12 at Wikimedia Commons
- Pennsylvania Highways - Pennsylvania Route 12
- Pennsylvania Highways - PA 12 Exit list
- State Ends - PA 12 Terminus pictures
- Pennsylvania Roads - PA 12
- Pennsylvania @ AARoads - Pennsylvania 12