Pennsylvania Route 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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
Length: 24.33 mi[1] (39.16 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
Counties: Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia
Highway system
PA 2 PA 4

Pennsylvania Route 3 (PA 3) is a state highway located in the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania. The route connects West Chester with Philadelphia. The divided highway that comprises much of its route is the West Chester Pike, built as a turnpike by the Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Company. In the early 20th century, it comprised part of the Lakes-to-Sea Highway.

From 1898 to 1954, the route was paralleled by a streetcar line of the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company. However, the line was removed in order to facilitate a four-lane widening of the entire length of the highway in response to traffic and safety concerns. Today, SEPTA's Route 104 bus covers most of the length of the route, running from West Chester to 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby.

Route description[edit]

PA 3 begins at an intersection with Business US 322 in West Chester, as a one-way pair of Market Street eastbound and Chestnut Street westbound. At Matlack Street, the westbound direction starts following Gay Street. At the borough line, the route becomes West Chester Pike, a four-lane divided highway. The route interchanges with the US 202/US 322 bypass of West Chester, heading eastwards towards Goshen and the county line.

PA 3 continues eastward through Edgmont, passing by Ridley Creek State Park. It passes through Newtown Square and Broomall, interchanging with Interstate 476 near Havertown, where it also meets U.S. 1. In the Philadelphia inner suburb of Upper Darby, the West Chester Pike ends and the route continues as Market Street across the Philadelphia city limits.

PA 3 enters Philadelphia as Market Street, then immediately turns onto the Cobbs Creek Parkway and divides into Chestnut and Walnut Streets. In the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, the route makes several turns including a short overlap with U.S. Route 13, with the westbound direction becoming J.F.K. Boulevard and the eastbound direction turning back onto Market Street, and across the Market Street Bridge. Both streets pass over I-76 and the Schuylkill River at 30th Street Station, and the westbound boulevard passes the Comcast Center, Pennsylvania's tallest skyscraper. The route then ends at Pennsylvania Route 611 in a massive traffic circle around Philadelphia City Hall.[2]


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

The Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Road Company was formed in 1848 to build a toll road between the two cities. The road was one of several built in Delaware County in the 1840s, as part of a plan to improve the farming and manufacturing business in the county. Rail was first used on the turnpike in 1858, when the Delaware County Passenger Rail Road Company built a 4-mile (6.4 km) line from 39th and Market streets in Philadelphia to Howard House.[3][4]

In 1924, PA 3 was first signed onto the William Penn Highway, from the West Virginia state line to the New Jersey state line. It was designated on what is today U.S. Route 22, from the West Virginia state line to Harrisburg; U.S. Route 322 from Harrisburg to Hershey; U.S. Route 422 from Hershey to Reading; U.S. Route 222 from Reading to Allentown; US 22 from Allentown to the New Jersey state line. The number was decommissioned in 1930, four years after AASHTO added the US 22 designation.[5]

In 1927, a portion of the Lakes-to-Sea Highway (PA 5) was signed to the West Chester Pike. By 1940, PA 3 was commissioned replacing the previous PA 5 designation.[5][6][7]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Chester West Chester 0.00 0.00
US 322 Bus. (High Street / Chestnut Street)
West Goshen Township Paoli Pike Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
1.36 2.19 US 202 / US 322 – King of Prussia, Downingtown, Wilmington, Chester Interchange
Westtown Township 4.53 7.29 PA 352 north (Chester Road) – Frazer Western terminus of concurrency
4.66 7.50 PA 352 south (Chester Road) – Lima Eastern terminus of concurrency
Willistown Township 6.35 10.22 PA 926 west (Street Road) – Cheyney, Westtown Eastern terminus of PA 926
Delaware Newtown Township 11.32 18.22 PA 252 (Newtown Street Road) – Paoli, Media
Marple Township 13.46 21.66 PA 320 (Sproul Road) – Villanova, Swarthmore
14.59 23.48 I-476 (Blue Route) – Plymouth Meeting, Chester Exit 9 (I-476)
Upper Darby Township 17.14 27.58 US 1 (Township Line Road)
Philadelphia Philadelphia 22.46 36.15 US 13 south (38th Street) Western terminus of concurrency
22.57 36.32 US 13 north (38th Street) Eastern terminus of concurrency
I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) to I-95 / I-676 – Valley Forge, Central Philadelphia, Int'l Airport, Sports Complex Exit 345 (I-76)
24.33 39.16 PA 611 (Broad Street)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ a b DeLorme Street Atlas USA (2007), Toggle Measure Tool. Retrieved on 2007 June.
  2. ^ PennDOT (2007). Pennsylvania Tourism and Transportation Map (Map). Retrieved 2007-12-20.
  3. ^ Trains. Kalmbach Publishing Company. 1954. 
  4. ^ Smith, George (1862). History of Delaware County: From the discovery of the territory including within its limits to the present time. printed by H.B. Ashmead. 
  5. ^ a b Gulf Oil (1926). Pennsylvania Highway Map (eastern side) (Map). Retrieved 2007-12-26.
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Highways (1927). Pennsylvania Highway Map (Map). Retrieved 2007-12-26.
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Highways (1940). Pennsylvania Highway Map (back side) (Map). Retrieved 2007-12-26.