JENNERSVILLE – State Sen. Andy Dinniman (R-West Whiteland), state Rep. John Lawrence (R-West Grove), and officials from Penn Township, PennDOT, McMahon Associates, and others came together this week to recognize an award-winning intersection project in southern Chester County.
The improvement and realignment of the intersection of state Route 796 and Old Baltimore Pike at the site of the former Red Rose Inn was the co-recipient of the 2020 Pennsylvania Road and Bridge Improvement Award in the Roadway Category.
“The award is a further testament to the collaboration, bipartisanship, and sheer willpower that all of our partners brought to this project every step of the way. It wasn’t always easy, but we stuck with it and stood together to bring a tremendous transportation improvement to the community,” said Dinniman. “I became a believer in this project on the way to one of our first meetings here because I was stuck in the traffic backing up to Route 1. Today, that did not happen. This intersection looks a lot different and it is now smoother and safer for everyone.”
Dinniman also thanked representatives of the Pennsylvania State Police, West Grove Fire and Ambulance Company, Medic 94 and the Chester County emergency services community for their support.
“Today’s recognition of the Red Rose Inn Intersection improvement speaks to what can happen with bipartisan collaboration and exceptional municipal leadership,’ said Lawrence. “Working together with Sen. Dinniman and Penn Township, we were able to cut through the red tape and get this project finished. The results speak for themselves, and the intersection improvements will serve the community for years to come.”
The major improvements to the intersection, completed in 2019, include a complete redesign, realignment and addition of left-turning lanes. The project significantly improved traffic flow, and safety while making way for more economic development opportunities.
Prior to the project’s completion, vehicles would back all the way up to the U.S. Route 1 southbound off-ramp, especially during peak hours.
Due to its success and positive impact on transportation, safety and economic development opportunities in the surrounding area, the intersection project was selected for the award by the
Pennsylvania Highway Information Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs, and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.
Fran Hanney, traffic control service manager for PennDOT District 6, credited the perseverance of all the partners in seeing the project through. “This took approximately seven years to make it a reality,” Hanney wrote in a statement. “You don’t see that very often as usually things die after a few years. This was truly a success story and a lesson in staying the course.”
Dinniman and Lawrence worked together in the spirit of bipartisanship to secure over $1 million in state funding to improve the intersection, which had become a bottleneck that was inhibiting travel and economic growth in the area.
They also credited Penn Township Supervisor Chairman Curtis Mason for having long championed the vision of realigning the intersection to promote both traffic safety and economic development.
“As home to the Shoppes at Jenners’ Village, the Jennersville Hospital, Penn Medicine, the YMCA, the Chester County Technical College High School and soon, the new Avon Grove High School, safe passage through our town center is not just a convenience but a critical public safety component without which we would have been mired in the 20th century,” Mason said. “With these dramatic improvements, our town center can thrive and attract new businesses, homes, services, jobs and more to Southern Chester County.”
Mason also noted that Penn Township purchased the Red Rose Inn and modified the non-historic addition on the northwestern corner to make way for the realignment. The inn continues to undergo an extensive historic renovation.
Representative John Lawrence
Pennsylvania House of Representatives