By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Preliminary work started Monday on the two-part project to widen Route 322 in Delaware County, a major link between Route 1 and I-95.

The plan is intended to relieve congestion and make Route 322 a safer roadway.

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For nearly seven miles, Route 322, also known as Conchester Highway, is just one lane in each direction. PennDOT’s Gene Blaum says the first half of the project to widen it to four lanes stretches from Route 1 to just beyond the Featherbed Lane/Mattson Road intersection.

Through early summer, Blaum says, “There will be off-peak daytime single-lane patterns with stop and go traffic between 9 and 3, and overnight.”

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After that, concrete barriers go up.

“The contractor will then be doing the widening and the reconstruction and the building of the new pavement on the south side of 322 behind the barriers,” Blaum says, “so we will not be impacting traffic.”

Other improvements include dedicated turning lanes at five intersections, dynamic message signs, and six traffic cameras.

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Work on the three-mile stretch its expected to wrap up in 2020.