By Brad Segall and Oren Liebermann

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WARRINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — Traffic is now moving along the first highway to open in Southeastern Pennsylvania in more than 20 years.

And it’s something that many residents in Bucks and Montgomery counties have been waiting for: the official opening of the Route 202 Parkway — an 8½-mile stretch of road that connects Montgomery Township with Doylestown (see related story).

George Niblock — who has a bridge named for him along the new Route 202 Parkway — has been working to keep this project alive for the better part of three decades.

“(I) look forward now to see the traffic running and see the congestion relieved a little bit so that people can get around and have a better life,” he told KYW Newsradio today.

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The original Route 202 choked traffic for miles between Montgomery and Bucks Counties, slowing down emergency responders like firefighters and ambulances, according to State Rep. Katharine Watson. Bus routes that had to use Route 202 were even given extra time to account for traffic.

The new road is smaller than planners initially wanted, but PennDOT owns the right of way along the road, allowing for expansion in the future.

Planners started talking about this project back in the ’60s, and it evolved over the years from a four-lane expressway to a two-lane parkway. There are ten intersections with traffic signals where motorists can enter and exit the parkway, and there’s a shared-use path for runners, walkers, joggers, and bike riders.

Business owners along the old Route 202 say the new parkway will bring in more customers from neighboring areas.

“Now you’re going to have people that can come from the city, get up here a lot quicker, take the bypass,” said Dino Borghi, owner of Borghi’s Restaurant in Chalfont. “It’s going to help all the businesses in Chalfont for sure.”

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