Pennsylvania 291

Pennsylvania 291 connects Interstate 76 with Interstate 95 and the Philadelphia International Airport via the Platte Bridge over the Schuylkill River. The designation was truncated in the 1980s from downtown Philadelphia and rerouted from Broad Street to an alignment west to the Schuylkill Expressway interchange with Passyunk Avenue. The main purpose of the highway, asides serving the refineries in South Philadelphia, is to connect Interstate 95 northbound traffic with Interstate 76 westbound (since there is no ramp between the two).

Due to expansion of Philadelphia International Airport, Pennsylvania 291 was relocated again within the vicinity of the airport by October 2006. The alignment along Industrial Highway between Bartram and Island Avenues is no longer part of the state route. Instead Pennsylvania 291 follows Bartram Avenue from Scott Way to Hook Road and Island Avenue, and Island Avenue east back to its original alignment at Penrose Avenue. A portion of Industrial Highway from Penrose Avenue westward is to be permanently closed.1


Pennsylvania 291 East
Traffic from Interstate 95 merges onto Pennsylvania 291 (Industrial Highway) from Exit 10. Industrial Highway carries the state route east from Essington to Philadelphia International Airport. The four-lane divided highway enters John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge ahead of the airport area. Photo taken 05/22/05.
Pennsylvania 291 ascends over a railroad line ahead of the signalized intersection with Bartram Avenue and Scott Way. Photo taken 05/22/05.
A small guide sign directs travelers to Bartram Avenue east and Scott Way south to Cargo City of Philadelphia International Airport. Bartram Avenue now carries Pennsylvania 291 east to Island Avenue. Photo taken 05/22/05.
A set of Interstate 95 trailblazers directed traffic onto Bartram Avenue east to Interstate 95 south and Industrial Highway east to interstate 95 north. Since the relocation of Interstate 95, all traffic must take Bartram Avenue east to Interstate 95. Photo taken 05/22/05.
Pennsylvania 291 turns onto Bartram Avenue for Hook Road and Island Avenue. Industrial Parkway continues to the airport terminal. Scott Way links Bartram Avenue with Tinicum Island Road and the airport cargo terminal. Photo taken 05/22/05.
On the approach to the George C. Platte Bridge across the Schuylkill River on Pennsylvania 291 (Penrose Avenue) eastbound. Passing overhead is Bartram Avenue. The state route interchanges with Interstate 95 just south of here. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Pennsylvania 291 (Penrose Avenue) provides access to Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from Interstate 95 and the Philadelphia International Airport. Pictured here is a eastbound sign bridge on the Platte Bridge for the upcoming intersection with S. 26th Street. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Pennsylvania 291 (Penrose Avenue) eastbound views of the George C. Platt Bridge across the Schuylkill River. To the west of the span lies the Gulf and Sun Oil refineries. East of the bridge are wetlands and the Interstate 95 Girard Point Bridge. The skyline of Philadelphia unfolds to the north as one descends from the crest of the span. Photos taken 04/10/04.
A guide sign advises all traffic bound for Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) west to remain on Pennsylvania 291 east as it turns north onto S. 26th Street from Penrose Avenue. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Drivers remaining on Penrose Avenue northbound continue to Pattison Avenue, ramps onto Interstate 76 east for the Walt Whitman Bridge, and Moyamensing Avenue. Pattison Avenue east begins on the other side of the railroad crossing over Penrose Avenue. From there the surface street travels to Pennsylvania 611 (Broad Street) and the Philadelphia Sports Complex of Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and the Wachovia Center and Spectrum. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Pennsylvania 291 east turns left onto S. 26th Street for its final leg to Interstate 76 at Passyunk Avenue. S. 26th Street continues to the right into the Philadelphia Naval Business Center. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Pennsylvania 291 east (26th Street) northbound as it leaves Penrose Avenue and the George C. Platte Bridge. The four-lane divided highway provides a straight shot to Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) without any traffic lights. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Pennsylvania 291 eastbound ends as it merges onto Interstate 76 westbound. 26th Street travels below the Schuylkill Expressway and Passyunk Avenue interchange to merge directly onto the westbound freeway. Photo taken 04/10/04.
Pennsylvania 291 west
Pennsylvania 291 (S. 26th Street) westbound at its intersection with Penrose Avenue near the George C. Platte Bridge. The state route provides access to Interstate 95 and the Philadelphia International Airport from the Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76 east) south. Pennsylvania 291 westbound turns south onto Penrose Avenue here as S. 26th Street continues ahead into the Philadelphia Naval Business Center. Photo taken 04/25/04.
Interstate 95 and an airport trailblazer posted on Penrose Avenue southbound after Pennsylvania 291 joins ahead of the George C. Platt Bridge. The Schuylkill River span carries four overall lanes between S. 26th Street and Interstate 95. Photo taken 04/25/04.
Attached to the superstructure of the Platt Bridge on Pennsylvania 291 westbound is the one half mile guide sign for the upcoming junction with Interstate 95 south. The south end of the span directly ties into the freeway at the Bartram Avenue over crossing. Note the aircraft warning lights attached to the top of the superstructure in the second and third photos. Photo taken 04/25/04.
Descending toward Philadelphia International Airport and Interstate 95 south on Pennsylvania 291 west. Pictured here is a sign bridge for the upcoming exit ramp onto the freeway. Note the missing Pennsylvania 291 shield on the left-hand panel for Island Avenue. Pennsylvania 291 (Penrose Avenue) becomes Industrial Highway at its intersection with Island Avenue west of Interstate 95. Photo taken 04/25/04.
Pennsylvania 291 (Penrose Avenue) departs the Platt Bridge at the Interstate 95 southbound ramp and Bartram Avenue over crossing. Traffic merging onto Interstate 95 utilizes a lengthy collector/distributor roadway that provides access to the Airport terminal and Bartram Avenue before merging onto the freeway mainline. Photo taken 04/25/04.
Old Pennsylvania 291 (Industrial Highway)
Pennsylvania 291 shield posted along Industrial Highway east of its intersection with Bartram Avenue/Scott Way. Pennsylvania 291 was rerouted from Industrial Highway by early October 2006. Industrial Highway otherwise continued east near Philadelphia International Airport terminal to Island and Penrose Avenue. Due to airport expansion, the easternmost segment of Industrial Highway will be closed permanently. Photo taken 05/22/05.
Approaching the ramps to Philadelphia International Airport and International Plaza Drive on Industrial Highway (old Pennsylvania 291) east. Passing overhead is the direct ramp from Interstate 95 (Exit 12) to the airport terminal. Before its construction, the only access to the airport from the freeway was via Pennsylvania 291. Photo taken 05/22/05.
Two lanes of Industrial Highway split from the entrance ramps to Philadelphia International Airport. Pennsylvania 291 used to continue east adjacent to the airport terminal to Island Avenue. Photo taken 05/22/05.
Taking the ramps to Philadelphia International Airport, traffic splits between the arrival and departure terminal roadways. Photo taken 05/22/05.
A traffic light lies along the departure ramp for International Plaza Drive, ahead of the entrance into the terminal area itself. International Plaza Drive is home to International Plaza office complex. Photo taken 05/22/05.

Sources:

  1. Philadelphia International Airport - Press Release, September 18, 2006.

Page Posted October 5, 2006.

© AARoads