By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The expansion of the Route 422 bridge over the Schuylkill River is on pace for a 2020 opening, with a lane shift expected by the end of the year.

The finished version of the Route 422 bridge over the Schuylkill River between Upper Merion and West Norriton Townships will be twice as wide with room for eight lanes, upgrading the current bottle-necking five lanes.

State Senator John Rafferty says the widening is long overdue, as more than 90,000 cars use 422 each day.

“To put that in perspective, the Walt Whitman and the Ben Franklin can do about 100,000 cars a day, and you know how wide that they can go,” he said.

Rafferty says they expect to shift traffic in both directions onto the newly built platform as they shift into the next phase of construction.

PennDOT secretary Leslie Richards says they’ve also begun a study to use the shoulders as extra lanes “during certain times of day when travel can get quite congested on 422.”

Similar studies are already underway for I-76, the Schuylkill Expressway; and I-476, the Blue Route.

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