By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Phase three of the $100 million Lafayette Street project is underway in Norristown.

Once finished, the project will connect Norristown to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Montgomery County officials say, in addition to improving access to Norristown, the Lafayette Street project will improve access to the more than two miles of waterfront in Norristown.

Phase three widens Lafayette Street from Ford Street to west of the Norristown Transportation Center. Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence says it brings the Schuylkill River Trail down to ground level.

“It will also make downtown Norristown the junction for the Schuylkill River Trail and the Chester Valley Trail. Those are the two most heavily used trails in this area,” Lawrence said.

Phase one extended Lafayette Street to the future location of the turnpike interchange.

Phase two rebuilt, widened, and improved intersections on Ridge Pike, on the border of Norristown and Plymouth Township.

The next phase will be the turnpike access, but that’s still in planning and won’t be completed for at least five years.