Pennsylvania Roads - Unbuilt PA 90

Unbuilt PA 90

PA 90 was the number originally applied to what is now PA 191. The number changed in 1961, about the time that the Delaware River Port Authority, a joint commission between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, began studying in earnest a new crossing near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge on PA/NJ 73. Not surprisingly, the NJ approach to the bridge, from the time it opened in 1976, is NJ 90, and thus it would seem Pennsylvania was ready to number its own freeway approach as PA 90. That day never came, however, and while it was being studied, no actual number (aside from a temporary four-digit one) was assigned to the route. Thus the highway from I-95 to the Betsy Ross Bridge, and likely the Aramingo Ave. connector on the other side, carries a hidden four-digit state route designation, instead of the 90 that was cleared for it. The bridge is signed "TO NJ 90" from I-95.

We'll start small, to whet your appetite. Just after the I-95 NB ramp splits to the Betsy Ross Bridge and the Aramingo Ave. connector, there is this stub bridge inside the ramp. It's the remnant of Thompson St., which dead-ends to the north of the intersection but once crossed over the Tacony Creek, under the railroad in the background, and continued southward. Obviously, the construction of I-95 killed the street, but I'm surprised it didn't kill this sizable piece of it.

And in case you like signs, this is on Tacony St. NB at Aramingo Ave. It's a blowup of the version on the I-95 page, but there's enough good stuff on that page already.

An overview of what's so special here. The bridge is just off the top of the photo (east), and I-95 runs left (north) to right. Well, it looks like a regular three-level stack interchange until you study the center carefully - "PA 90" never crosses I-95! Although the stubs are all there on both sides of the freeway, they've inexplicably never been connected. Local access from the bridge happens to the east of I-95 on Richmond St., which is just more complicated. The ramps themselves sat idle as stubs for many years until the Aramingo Ave. connector was dreamed up, so I bet there was some compromise that got it built at the expense of getting it truly completed.

The eastern stub, the freeway coming off of the bridge. For some reason, when the interchange was completed to allow access to Aramingo Ave., making use of the property already acquired for the proposed freeway, the bridge was never connected to it.

The green fence in the midground (halfway between fore and back) is the end of the western freeway stub.

Westbound on the Aramingo Ave. connector, where the stub in the background (complete with police car) is meant to continue northward to Torresdale Ave. at some point. It's not a stub from the freeway, because the connector has already curved off of that alignment (which was closer to the Tacony Creek).

Now heading up the connector from Aramingo Ave. The NEXT LEFT is sorta correct, because traffic has to turn left to get to I-95, but there's nothing to the right yet. This isn't actually a stub of PA 90, because that would have headed straight northwest from the Betsy Ross Bridge.

The I-95 SB ramp to the bridge first passes the western abutment (Aramingo side), then flies high enough to show off piers in the middle of the interchange. That's right, PennDOT went so far as to complete the columns for the bridge piers! Literally all that's needed is a few tons of steel and concrete laid on top - it could even be preassembled and trucked in.

And here, the top of the eastern abutment as the ramp becomes the mainline.

The sun tried its best to stop me, and did a pretty good job versus the bad DRPA signage on the NJ 90 sign (at least it says "TO"), but nothing gets between me and my button copy.

More bridge, more button copy. The variable digit elements were replaced, but thankfully the signs remain. Still not sure if "Speed limit" is button copy.

Into New Jersey on NJ 90
Onto I-95
Unbuilt PA 90 on Steve Anderon's
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