Pennsylvania Route 903
|Maintained by PennDOT|
|Length:||17.733 mi (28.538 km)|
|Existed:||1928 – present|
|South end:||US 209 in Jim Thorpe|
| I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension in Penn Forest Township
PA 534 in Kidder Township
|North end:||PA 115 in Tunkhannock Township|
Pennsylvania Route 903 (PA 903) is a 17.7-mile-long (28.5 km) state highway located in Carbon and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania. The southern terminus is at U.S. Route 209 (US 209) in Jim Thorpe. The northern terminus is at PA 115 in Tunkhannock Township. The route runs through rural areas of the Pocono Mountains, with an interchange with the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 476, I-476) in Penn Forest Township and a junction with PA 534 in Kidder Township. PA 903 is a two-lane undivided road nearly its entire length, besides the I-476 intersection. The route was designated in 1928 between US 209/US 309 in Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) and a connecting road (now PA 115) south of Blakeslee. The highway was fully paved in the 1930s. Between 2008 and 2015, an E-ZPass-only interchange was constructed with I-476.
PA 903 begins at an intersection with US 209 in the borough of Jim Thorpe in Carbon County, heading northeast on two-lane undivided River Street. The road immediately comes to a bridge over a Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad line, the Lehigh River, and Norfolk Southern's Lehigh Line. After this, the route turns north and heads into residential areas, heading north-northwest onto West Front Street before turning northeast onto North Street. PA 903 continues past more homes with some businesses before turning east into forested areas as an unnamed road.
The road heads into Penn Forest Township, running northeast through more forests with some residences and agricultural clearings. The route heads through forested areas with some wooded residential subdivisions, running through Christmans and reaching an E-ZPass-only interchange with I-476 (Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike). PA 903 heads through more dense forests, crossing through a portion of Hickory Run State Park before passing to the west of the residential development of Towamensing Trails. The road crosses into Kidder Township and intersects PA 534.
The route heads north at this point and passes through a mix of woods and fields with some development before continuing back into dense forests and turning northeast near the Big Boulder ski resort and Big Boulder Lake to the south of Lake Harmony. PA 903 enters Tunkhannock Township in Monroe County and continues to its northern terminus at PA 115.
When Pennsylvania first designated legislative routes with the Sproul Road Bill in 1911, the present-day alignment of PA 903 was not given a legislative route number. PA 903 was designated in 1928 to run from US 209/US 309 in Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) northeast to an unimproved connecting road south of Blakeslee. At this time, all the route was unpaved except for a small portion to the northeast of Mauch Chunk. By 1930, the route was paved southwest to East Mauch Chunk while the state highway was under construction northeast to Christmans. The entire length of PA 903 was paved during the 1930s, at which point PA 115 was designated along the intersecting road at the northern terminus.
In 1990, plans were made to build an interchange with the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Carbon County. A bill authorizing construction of this interchange was signed into law by Governor Robert P. Casey in July of that year. The proposal for this interchange were cancelled by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in 1995. In 2006, plans for the interchange between I-476 and PA 903 were resurrected, with the proposed interchange to be all-electronic, in that it will only accept E-ZPass. Construction on the $23 million interchange began in the middle of 2008. The interchange opened to traffic on June 30, 2015.
|Carbon||Jim Thorpe||0.000||0.000||US 209 (Lehigh Avenue) – Lehighton, Nesquehoning, Tamaqua|
|Penn Forest Township||10.509||16.913||I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension – Scranton, Allentown||I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension exit 87, E-ZPass only interchange|
|Kidder Township||13.735||22.104||PA 534 – Hickory Run State Park, Kresgeville|
|Monroe||Tunkhannock Township||17.733||28.538||PA 115 to I-80 – Blakeslee, Wilkes-Barre, Brodheadsville|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Bureau of Maintenance and Operations (January 2015). Roadway Management System Straight Line Diagrams (Report) (2015 ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- Google (December 12, 2011). "overview of Pennsylvania Route 903" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- Carbon County, Pennsylvania Highway Map (PDF) (Map). PennDOT. 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- Monroe County, Pennsylvania Highway Map (PDF) (Map). PennDOT. 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- Map of Pennsylvania Showing State Highways (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1911. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Map of Pennsylvania (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1928. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Tourist Map of Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1930. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
- Official Road Map of Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1940. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
- "Harrisburg News: Casey Signs Interchange Bill". The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. July 13, 1990. p. B03.
- Braden, Tyra (August 24, 1995). "Carbon Turnpike Project Canceled - Commission Scraps Penn Forest Interchange Talks, Irks Legislator". The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. p. B03.
- Parker, Chris (April 28, 2006). "E-ZPass slip ramps on Turnpike in Pocono area garners support ** Plan would build them off Northeast Extension in Carbon.". The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. p. B5.
- Hartzell, Dan (October 11, 2010). "Long road ahead to Poconos access from Turnpike". The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. p. A5.
- "Constructing a New EZ Pass Only Interchange Exit #87 on the NE Extension at Route 903". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- Michlowski, Bill (June 30, 2015). "New Turnpike Interchange Opens in Carbon County". Scranton, PA: WNEP-TV. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
Media related to Pennsylvania Route 903 at Wikimedia Commons