Pennsylvania Route 3

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This article is about the current route. For the PA Route 3 in the 1920s, see William Penn Highway.

PA Route 3 marker

PA Route 3
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT, Borough of West Chester, and City of Philadelphia
Length: 24.326 mi[1] (39.149 km)
Existed: 1936 – present
Major junctions
West end:
US 322 Bus. in West Chester
  US 202 / US 322 in West Chester
I-476 in Broomall
US 1 in Havertown
US 13 in Philadelphia
I-76 in Philadelphia
East end: PA 611 in Philadelphia
Location
Counties: Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia
Highway system
PA 2 PA 4

Pennsylvania Route 3 (PA 3) is a 24.3-mile (39.1 km) state highway located in the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania. The route connects U.S. Route 322 Business (US 322 Bus.) in West Chester with PA 611 in Philadelphia. The route begins in downtown West Chester and heads east out of town as a one-way pair of streets. Between West Chester and Upper Darby Township, PA 3 follows a four-lane divided highway known as West Chester Pike through suburban areas. Along this stretch, the route passes through Edgmont, Newtown Square, Broomall, and Havertown. The route has an interchange with Interstate 476 (I-476) between Broomall and Havertown. Upon reaching Upper Darby, PA 3 heads into Philadelphia along Market Street. In Philadelphia, the route follows multiple one-way pairs, running along Chestnut Street and Walnut Street in West Philadelphia before heading into Center City Philadelphia along Market Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard and ending at Philadelphia City Hall.

Philadelphia and West Chester were linked by a dirt road dating back to 1793. The Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Company was created to build a toll road between the two places in 1848. The turnpike was built as a plank road between Philadelphia and Newtown Square in the 1850s before becoming a stone road in the 1880s. A horse-drawn rail line was built along part of the turnpike in the 1850s and a trolley service was introduced in the 1890s. The state took over the West Chester Pike in 1918. In 1927, the route was designated as part of PA 5. PA 3 replaced the PA 5 designation between West Chester and Philadelphia by 1940. Trolley service was replaced by buses in the 1950s to allow for the widening of PA 3 between West Chester and Philadelphia to four lanes. By 1960, PA 3 was shifted to end at US 13 in Southwest Philadelphia. The routing was shifted to US 13 west of University City by 1970 before the route was extended east to Philadelphia City Hall during the 1970s.

Route description[edit]

Chester County[edit]

PA 3 eastbound approaching interchange with US 202/US 322 in West Goshen Township

PA 3 begins at an intersection with US 322 Bus. (High Street) in the downtown area of West Chester in Chester County near the historic Chester County Courthouse. From here, the route heads northeast on the one-way pair of East Market Street eastbound and East Chestnut Street westbound. The one-way streets carry two lanes in each direction as they pass downtown businesses. At the intersection with Matlack Street, the westbound direction of PA 3 shifts from East Chestnut Street to East Gay Street. The route continues to follow East Market Street eastbound and East Gay Street westbound through commercial areas, passing the terminus of the West Chester Railroad along East Market Street. PA 3 leaves West Chester for West Goshen Township and comes to an eastbound exit and westbound entrance with Paoli Pike. At this point, both directions of the route come together and head east along four-lane divided West Chester Pike, passing through residential areas. PA 3 comes to an interchange with the US 202/US 322 freeway and runs past businesses and some homes. The road curves east-southeast at the Strasburg Road intersection and crosses into East Goshen Township, where it continues past suburban neighborhoods and commercial establishments. PA 3 enters Westtown Township and reaches an intersection with PA 352, forming a short concurrency before PA 352 splits to the southeast. The road heads east through wooded areas with residential subdivisions as it continues into Willistown Township. The route intersects the eastern terminus of PA 926 and curves east-northeast through a mix of fields and woodland with some homes, crossing the Ridley Creek.[2][3]

Delaware County[edit]

PA 3 enters Edgmont Township in Delaware County as it passes to the north of Ridley Creek State Park. The road continues east with some homes and businesses, crossing Providence Road. After passing to the south of a shopping center, the route crosses Crum Creek into Newtown Township and runs past a mix of fields and development. PA 3 curves east at the Boot Road intersection and passes between a business campus to the north and a residential neighborhood to the south. The road heads into business areas and reaches an intersection with PA 252 in the community of Newtown Square. Following the PA 252 junction, the route continues east through a mix of suburban residential and commercial areas. At the Media Line Road intersection, PA 3 crosses into Marple Township and soon intersects Springfield Road. The road passes more homes and businesses and comes to a junction with PA 320 in the community of Broomall. The route continues near suburban neighborhoods with some businesses before it comes to an interchange with I-476.[2][4]

PA 3 along the West Chester Pike in Broomall

Past the I-476 interchange, PA 3 intersects Lawrence Road and crosses the Darby Creek into Haverford Township. The road continues east past homes and businesses as it passes through the community of Havertown, crossing Eagle Road. Farther east, the route heads into the community of Llanerch, where it crosses Darby Road a short distance before coming to an intersection with US 1. After crossing US 1, PA 3 enters Upper Darby Township and continues past suburban businesses and homes. The road crosses State Road and heads into more urban areas of residential and commercial development. A trolley line begins running in the median before the route comes to Terminal Square, where it crosses SEPTA's Route 101 and 102 trolley lines. Past this, PA 3 heads east on four-lane undivided Market Street as it passes between the 69th Street Transportation Center to the north and urban businesses to the south, gaining a median before the 69th Street intersection. The route becomes undivided again and passes more businesses, forming the border between Millbourne to the north and Upper Darby Township to the south. PA 3 passes some homes before becoming a divided highway at the eastern edge of Millbourne as SEPTA's Market–Frankford Line rises to pass over the road.[2][4]

Philadelphia[edit]

PA 3 crosses the Cobbs Creek into Philadelphia, where it immediately splits from Market Street by turning south onto Cobbs Creek Parkway at the 63rd Street Station on the Market-Frankford Line. The route follows four-lane undivided Cobbs Creek Parkway between woods along the creek to the west and urban development to the east before it splits east onto a one-way pair. The eastbound direction of PA 3 follows Chestnut Street while the westbound direction of PA 3 follows Walnut Street a block to the south. Chestnut Street carries three lanes of one-way eastbound traffic while Walnut Street carries two lanes of one-way westbound traffic. PA 3 follows Chestnut and Walnut street east through residential areas of West Philadelphia, passing several blocks of rowhomes with some businesses. Farther east, the route reaches the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, where Walnut Street runs along the edge of the University of Pennsylvania campus. Upon reaching US 13, westbound PA 3 shifts from Walnut Street to Market Street, running concurrent with US 13 southbound on four-lane divided 38th Street between Market and Walnut streets. East of US 13, westbound PA 3 follows on Market Street, a three-lane road with a center left-turn lane. At this point, the Market-Frankford Line runs underneath Market Street, with the Subway-Surface Trolley Lines joining at 36th Street. Eastbound PA 3 continues east on one-way Chestnut Street. The route passes several multistory commercial buildings as it runs through the northern part of the Drexel University campus. At 33rd Street, eastbound PA 3 turns north and joins the westbound direction on Market Street, continuing east.[2][4]

Eastbound PA 3 (Market Street) approaching 15th Street, near the route's eastern terminus.

Upon reaching 32nd Street, PA 3 splits into another one-way pair, with eastbound PA 3 continuing east along Market Street and westbound PA 3 following four-lane John F. Kennedy Boulevard, both being two-way streets. The route passes under CSX's Harrisburg Subdivision before coming to the 30th Street intersection at 30th Street Station, which serves Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and the SEPTA Regional Rail system. The eastbound direction passes to the south of the station as a four-lane undivided street. The westbound direction bends north around the station, running along a one-way street with two lanes of traffic that heads north and crosses under the SEPTA tracks before turning west. It then passes to the south of the Cira Centre and curves south under the SEPTA tracks again before turning west. Immediately east of 30th Street Station, PA 3 has an interchange with I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) before it crosses over the Schuylkill River and CSX's Philadelphia Subdivision on the river's east bank on the Market Street Bridge eastbound and the John F. Kennedy Boulevard Bridge westbound. At this point, PA 3 heads into Center City Philadelphia on four-lane undivded Market Street eastbound and four-lane divided John F. Kennedy Boulevard westbound. The streets pass several downtown skyscrapers, with the westbound direction running south of the SEPTA Regional Rail tracks, which head into the Center City Commuter Connection tunnel at 20th Street. At the 20th Street intersection, both directions of PA 3 become one-way streets, with Market Street carrying four lanes of eastbound traffic and John F. Kennedy Boulevard carrying four lanes of westbound traffic. Eastbound PA 3 passes to the north of Liberty Place between 17th and 16th streets while westbound PA 3 passes to the south of the Comcast Center between 18th and 17th streets, Suburban Station of SEPTA Regional Rail between 17th and 16th streets, and LOVE Park between 16th and 15th streets. PA 3 reaches its eastern terminus at PA 611 (which runs north-south along Broad Street through Philadelphia) at 15th Street, which forms the western part of Penn Square around Philadelphia City Hall.[2][4]

History[edit]

PA 3 eastbound in Upper Darby, with the Philadelphia skyline in the background

From 1793 to 1850, Philadelphia and West Chester were linked by a dirt road used by horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Road Company was formed in March 1848 to build a toll road between 38th and Market streets in Philadelphia and Newtown Square. The turnpike was to have five toll houses along its length. The West Chester Pike was constructed to improve farming and manufacturing in Delaware County. The turnpike became a plank road between 1850 and 1868. Rail service was first used on the turnpike in 1859, when the Delaware County Passenger Rail Road Company built a 4-mile (6.4 km) horse-drawn rail line from 38th and Market streets in Philadelphia to Howard House in Upper Darby. The entire turnpike between Philadelphia and Newtown Square became a stone road by 1885. The Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company established a trolley service along the West Chester Pike between 63rd Street in Philadelphia and Newtown Square in 1895. Steam dummies were first used but electric trolley cars were introduced a year later. The trolley line was extended west to West Chester in 1898. The trolley line followed the south side of the turnpike. Following the construction of 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby in 1907, the route of the West Chester Pike saw increasing suburban development. In 1918, the West Chester Pike was taken over by the state, with the tolls removed.[5]

The West Chester Pike was designated as Legislative Route 133 when the Sproul Road Bill was passed in 1911.[6] In 1927, the West Chester Pike and Market Street in Philadelphia were designated as part of PA 5, which ran along the Lakes-to-Sea Highway.[7][8] Between downtown West Chester and Paoli Pike, PA 5 had a concurrency with US 122/PA 52 (later US 202) along Gay Street.[9] By 1940, PA 3 was commissioned between US 202/US 322/PA 100 (now US 322 Bus.) in West Chester and US 30 in Philadelphia, replacing the previous PA 5 designation.[10] In Philadelphia, PA 3 was shifted to follow Chestnut and Walnut streets east before turning north on 5th and 6th streets to meet US 30 at the approach to the Ben Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River.[11]

In 1954, regular trolley service between Philadelphia and West Chester ended as plans were made to widen PA 3. Trolley service during peak periods continued until 1958.[5] The trolley service was replaced by buses, which is today part of SEPTA's Route 104 service.[5][12] During the late 1950s and 1960s, the West Chester Pike portion of PA 3 was widened into a four-lane road.[5] US 202 and PA 3 were routed onto a one-way pair in West Chester along Market and Gay streets by 1959.[13] By 1960, PA 3 was rerouted to follow Cobbs Creek Parkway and Baltimore Avenue to end at US 13 at the intersection of Baltimore and Whitby avenues in Southwest Philadelphia.[14] The route was realigned to follow Chestnut and Walnut streets to US 13 at 44th and 43rd streets by 1970.[15] Also by this time, the US 202 concurrency in West Chester was removed as that highway was rerouted to bypass the borough to the east along US 322.[16] PA 3 was extended east to PA 291 and PA 611 at Philadelphia City Hall during the 1970s. The route followed Chestnut and Walnut streets to US 13 at 38th Street before running along Chestnut Street eastbound and Market Street westbound to 30th Street Station, where it shifted to Market Street eastbound and John F. Kennedy Boulevard westbound.[17]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Chester West Chester 0.000 0.000
US 322 Bus. (High Street / Chestnut Street)
West Goshen Township 0.805 1.296 Paoli Pike Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
1.338 2.153 US 202 / US 322 – King of Prussia, Downingtown, Wilmington, Chester Interchange
Westtown Township 4.518 7.271 PA 352 north (Chester Road) – Frazer Western terminus of concurrency
4.648 7.480 PA 352 south (Chester Road) – Lima Eastern terminus of concurrency
Willistown Township 6.338 10.200 PA 926 west (Street Road) – Cheyney, Westtown Eastern terminus of PA 926
Delaware Newtown Township 11.308 18.198 PA 252 (Newtown Street Road) – Paoli, Media
Marple Township 13.456 21.655 PA 320 (Sproul Road) – Villanova, Swarthmore
14.560 23.432 I-476 (Blue Route) – Plymouth Meeting, Chester Exit 9 (I-476)
Upper Darby Township 17.117 27.547 US 1 (Township Line Road)
Philadelphia Philadelphia 22.451 36.131 US 13 (38th Street) Westbound PA 3 runs concurrent with US 13 between Walnut and Market streets
23.321 37.532 I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) to I-95 / I-676 – Valley Forge, Central Philadelphia, Int'l Airport, Sports Complex Exit 345 (I-76)
24.326 39.149 PA 611 (15th Street/John F. Kennedy Boulevard) Square around Philadelphia City Hall
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Bing

  1. ^ a b Bureau of Maintenance and Operations (January 2014). "Roadway Management System Straight Line Diagrams" (2014 ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Google (December 15, 2014). "overview of Pennsylvania Route 3". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Chester County, Pennsylvania (Map) (17th ed.). 1"=2000'. ADC Map. 2006. ISBN 0-87530-778-7. 
  4. ^ a b c d Metro Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Map) (19th ed.). 1"=2000'. ADC Map. 2006. ISBN 978-0-87530-777-0. 
  5. ^ a b c d Edgcumbe, Stephen J. (2012). West Chester Pike. Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 8. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ Map of Pennsylvania Showing State Highways (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1911. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Highway Map (eastern side) (Map). Gulf Oil. 1926. Retrieved December 26, 2007. 
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Highway Map (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1927. Retrieved December 26, 2007. 
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Highway Map (Philadelphia Metro) (Map). Gulf Oil. 1928. Retrieved November 8, 2007. 
  10. ^ Official Road Map of Pennsylvania (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1940. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ Official Road Map of Pennsylvania (back) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1940. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Route 104 bus map". SEPTA. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ General Highway Map Chester County, Pennsylvania (Map) (Sheet 1 ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1959. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ Official Map of Pennsylvania (back) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1960. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ Official Map of Pennsylvania (back) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1970. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  16. ^ Official Map of Pennsylvania (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1970. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Official Transportation Map (back) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1980. Retrieved January 17, 2014.