Pennsylvania 23

A new alignment for Pennsylvania 23 opened to traffic on November 20, 1992 from central Lancaster to U.S. 30. A 1.5-mile long four-lane controlled-access arterial linked Chestnut and Walnut Streets at Goffstown Road with the Lancaster Bypass. This included a bridge over the Conestoga River and a new parclo interchange on the U.S. 30 freeway with provisions built at the east end of the interchange to tie it into the Goat Path Expressway, the planned freeway for Pennsylvania 23 from Lancaster east to New Holland and Morgantown. Ground broke on the $28.3-million project in October 1990.1

The project was initially slated to open in August 1992, but was delayed due to a community issue about Grofftown Road being made one-way to prohibit it from being used as a shortcut to the new roadway.2 The road now dead ends just ahead of the Pennsylvania 23 northward turn from Chestnut Street to Walnut Street. Old Pennsylvania 23 utilized New Holland Avenue northeast from Walnut Street to its interchange with the U.S. 30 bypass.

Pennsylvania 23 East
Pennsylvania 23 (New Holland Pike) eastbound reassurance shield after the departure from the U.S. 30 freeway at Lancaster. The New Holland Pike consists of a two-lane roadway between Lancaster and New Holland itself. Photo taken 08/01/04.
Pennsylvania 722 (Quarry Road) ties into Pennsylvania 23 (Main Street) at the community of Leacock. The state route stems northwestward 3.1 miles to Pennsylvania 272 (Oregon Pike) near Lancaster Airport. The north Photo taken 08/01/04.
Eastbound at the eastern terminus of Pennsylvania 722 (Quarry Road). Pennsylvania 722 travels north of the city of Lancaster between Pennsylvania 283 near East Petersburg to Neffsville and Leacock. Photo taken 08/01/04.
One half mile east of Pennsylvania 722 is Pennsylvania 772 (Glenbrook Road). Pennsylvania 23 joins Pennsylvania 772 on Main Street for a 0.2-mile overlap at the village of Leola. Photo taken 08/01/04.
Pennsylvania 772 (Glenbrook Road) westbound travels north from Leola 3.3 miles to U.S. 222 at Brownstown, 5.6 miles to Rothsville, and nine miles to the town of Lititz. The majority of the route is rural as it passes through Amish countryside. Photo taken 08/01/04.
Pennsylvania 23 & 772 eastbound reassurance shields posted on Main Street in Leola. Like other Pennsylvania 23 and 772 communities, it is common to encounter Amish horse and buggies when driving through the countryside and villages of Lancaster County. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Pennsylvania 772 turns southeast from Pennsylvania 23 (Main Street) via Newport Road. The state route snakes its way six miles through rural hill country to the community of Intercourse and Pennsylvania 340 (Old Philadelphia Pike). Photo taken 09/18/04.
The split of Pennsylvania 23 & 772 at Leola. Pennsylvania 772 travels another 11.5 miles to its end at U.S. 30 near the town of Gap. Pennsylvania 23 continues another 4.5 miles eastward into the borough of New Holland and 16.3 miles to Morgantown. Photo taken 09/18/04.

In the village of Morgantown, Pennsylvania 23 (Main Street) joins Pennsylvania 10 for a 0.75-mile overlap through the heart of town. Pennsylvania 10 northbound travels from the borough of Honey Brook to Morgantown from the south. Depicted here are the Pennsylvania 10 northbound & 23 eastbound reassurance shields posted after their merge. Photo taken 04/23/04.
Descending toward the original southern terminus of Interstate 176 (Morgantown Expressway) on Pennsylvania 10 north & 23 east (Main Street) in Morgantown itself. Depicted here is the junction shield assembly for the northbound carriageway beginning of the Morgantown Expressway. Photo taken 04/23/04.
Until 1996 the intersection of Pennsylvania 10 & 23 with the Morgantown Expressway represented the original south end of Interstate 176. A change was made to directly tie the Interstate 76 spur into the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline at the nearby Morgantown trumpet interchange. A new freeway was constructed southeast across Pennsylvania 10 to the PA Turnpike. The new ramps displaced the original Pennsylvania 10 trumpet interchange in the process.
The original construction of Interstate 176, then Interstate 180, saw no direct connection between it and the Pennsylvania Turnpike due to the preexisting Pennsylvania 10 trumpet. As the need for better connections between adjoining limited access highways increased, it was decided to replace the at-grade connection via Pennsylvania 10 and Pennsylvania 10 & 23 (Main Street) with direct access to the Interstate 176 mainline. Photos taken 04/23/04.
Pennsylvania 23 follows Valley Forge Road between Valley Forge National Historical Park and the town of Bridgeport. The two-lane roadway interchanges with U.S. 422 (Schuylkill Expressway Extension) at the park and then proceeds to a signalized intersection with Moore Road. That intersection is depicted here with an older set of traffic signals. These were replaced with typical mast arm assemblies during the year 2000. Photo taken 01/00.
In Bridgeport, Pennsylvania 23 turns onto a short segment of the Schuylkill Parkway between Valley Forge Road and U.S. 202 (Dekalb Street). The four-lane divided highway travels underneath a high railroad viaduct before ending at the intersection of Dekalb and 4th Streets. Pennsylvania 23 continues eastward along 4th Street to Swedesburg. Photo taken 08/15/04.
Pennsylvania 23 West
Interstate 76 & 476 Pennsylvania trailblazers posted at the Front Street (Pennsylvania 23) northbound intersection with Matsonford Road & Fayette Street. Matsonford Road links Pennsylvania 23 with the nearby Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) and Interstate 476 (Mid-County Expressway). Fayette Street crosses the Schuylkill River into Conshohocken to the right. Photo taken 07/05/00.
Pennsylvania 23 continues northward along Front Street to Schuylkill River Road into Bridgeport. Once in the town, the state route follows River Road, Coates Street, and Fourth Street to U.S. 202 (Dekalb Street) and the Schuylkill Parkway. Pictured here is Pennsylvania 23 west of Dekalb Street on the four-lane divided Schuylkill Parkway. A railroad viaduct passes high overhead as it nears its crossing of the Schuylkill River into the nearby city of Norristown. Photo taken 08/15/04.
The Schuylkill Parkway was to be the easternmost portion of a freeway between Bridgeport-Norristown and the city of Lancaster for Pennsylvania 23. Much of the route was cancelled and only the short stretch of the Schuylkill Parkway between U.S. 202 (Dekalb Street) and Valley Forge Road was opened to traffic. Pennsylvania 23 turns northward onto Valley Forge Road ahead. Photo taken 08/15/04.
Pennsylvania 23 west departs the Schuylkill Parkway for Valley Forge Road north. An abandoned overpass lies in the background for what was to be a Pennsylvania 23 eastbound ramp to the Dannehower Bridge into Norristown. A 1970s era set of mast arm signals remains in place at the intersection. Photo taken 08/15/04.
32 miles west of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania 23 enters the community of Morgantown. Here the state route joins with Pennsylvania 10 along Main Street for a three-quarter mile overlap. Displayed here is the first of two sets of westbound/southbound reassurance shields for the multiplex of Pennsylvania 10 & 23. Photo taken 08/01/04.
Main Street westbound at the original northbound beginning of Interstate 176. Completed in 1963, the freeway spur travels 1.25 miles north from Pennsylvania 10 & 23 to the relocated Interstate 176. Recently a shopping plaza opened up along Main Street to tie into the Interstate 176 spur intersection. Photo taken 08/01/04.
This sign assembly predates the one depicted above at the Pennsylvania 10 south & 23 west (Main Street) intersection with Interstate 176. Note the state-named shield for the highway. All shields for Interstate 176 were replaced with the 1996 completion of the new Turnpike interchange. Photo taken 07/16/96.
The second and final set of Pennsylvania 10 south & 23 westbound reassurance shields on Main Street in Morgantown. The two part ways in 0.25 miles at Swamp Road. Photo taken 08/01/04.
A local roadway, Swamp Road, ties into the Pennsylvania 10 & 23 partitioning intersection from the north. Here Pennsylvania 10 turns southerly for a 4.4-mile drive to Honey Brook. Pennsylvania 23 continues west 3.7 miles to Churchtown and 9.5 miles to New Holland. Photo taken 08/01/04.
Another 17 miles west along Pennsylvania 23 (Main Street) at the overlap with Pennsylvania 772 in Leola. The two highways split after just 0.2 miles of pavement east of Leacock. Pennsylvania 772 (Glenbrook Road) turns northward 3.3 miles to U.S. 222 & Pennsylvania 272 at Brownstown. Pennsylvania 23 remains on a westward trajectory 4.5 miles to Eden and the city of Lancaster. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Pennsylvania 23 (Main Street) westbound partitions with Pennsylvania 772 (Glenbrook Road) northbound. Pennsylvania 772 arcs north of Lancaster between Leola, Rothsville, Lititz, Manheim, and Mt. Joy. Both Pennsylvania 23 & 772 end at the Susquehanna River community of Marietta west of Lancaster. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Just west of the Pennsylvania 722 (Quarry Road) eastern terminus is the signalized intersection with Hellers Church Road. Hellers Church Road travels south from Leacock to Horseshoe Road. Sections of the "Goat Path Expressway" of Pennsylvania 23 can be found south on Horseshoe Road. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Pennsylvania 23 (Main Street) westbound continues through Leacock after the Hellers Church Road intersection. The community retains an old town charm and Amish folk. Photo taken 09/18/04.
Approaching Geist Road and a pedestrian catwalk on Pennsylvania 23 (New Holland Pike) westbound. Traffic increases as Pennsylvania 23 delves deeper into the Lancaster metropolitan area. The increased congestion is resulting in some to advocate the resurrection of the Pennsylvania 23 freeway planned for the area. Photo taken 09/18/04.

Abandoned Pennsylvania 23 / Schuylkill Parkway

Constructed in the 1970s in conjunction with the Norristown to Phoenixville expressway project, the Schuylkill Parkway entails a short stretch of abandoned roadway southwest of Norristown. The four-lane expressway begins at U.S. 202 and stems west to Valley Forge Road. The parkway carries Pennsylvania 23 between the two roadways. West of there the parkway is vastly abandoned with the exception of a small segment that includes a southbound ramp from U.S. 202 to Pennsylvania 23 (Valley Forge Road). Other ramps to U.S. 202 remain abandoned.

The Schuylkill Parkway was to be the easternmost segment of a longer Pennsylvania 23 freeway between Norristown and Lancaster. A second segment of abandoned freeway remains east of Lancaster along the Pennsylvania 23 corridor. Known locally as the "Goat Path Expressway", this segment of highway is leased to local farmers as bridges and overpasses sit idle. For more on the Goat Path Expressway and photographs documenting the abandoned infrastructure, please see Pennsylvania @ AARoads - Harrisburg Road Enthusiast Meet 2004.

Schuylkill Parkway (Cancelled Pennsylvania 23 Freeway)
Views of the stub end of the Schuylkill Parkway as seen from the Pennsylvania 23 (Valley Forge Road) overpass. It appears that PennDOT utilizes the abandoned freeway for some sort of exercises or activity with the presence of traffic cones. Photos taken 08/15/04.
Looking back toward the east from the never used westbound carriageway of the Schuylkill Parkway. A ramp from U.S. 202 south for Pennsylvania 23 is in use to the left. The ramp loops over the westbound carriageway and utilizes the Schuylkill Parkway eastbound for Pennsylvania 23 (Valley Forge Road). Photos taken 08/15/04.
Traveling the ramp from U.S. 202 (Dannehower Bridge) southbound onto the Schuylkill Parkway east for Pennsylvania 23. A barricade shuttles traffic across the westbound lanes of the parkway onto eastbound. The second photograph displays the Schuylkill Parkway west of the barrier. Photos taken 08/15/04.
The Schuylkill Parkway eastbound as it passes underneath U.S. 202 (Dekalb Pike) and an abandoned overpass for the ramp from the Parkway east onto the Dannehower Bridge north. Visible in the second photograph is a set of Pennsylvania 23 shields for the Schuylkill Parkway intersection with Valley Forge Road and a set of mast arm traffic signals permanently set to flash caution (yellow). Photos taken 08/15/04.
Pennsylvania 23 scenes
Pennsylvania 23 text only button copy overhead on Matsonford Road eastbound in West Conshohocken. This sign bridge was probably installed when Interstate 476 was first constructed in the 1970s. Matsonford Road links the Mid-County Expressway with Pennsylvania 23 and the borough of Conshohocken. Pennsylvania 23 enters West Conshohocken from Bridgeport via Front Street to the north. The state route intersects Matsonford Road at the Fayette Street bridge across the Schuylkill River from Conshohocken. Photo taken 01/00.

  1. "State, local officials open new Route 23." Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA), November 21, 1992.
  2. "Opening of new Rt. 23 delayed until November." Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA), September 29, 1992.

Page Updated September 30, 2004.

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