Main Line Expressway (US 30, unbuilt)

A RELIEF ROUTE FOR THE SCHUYLKILL: As early as 1947, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission proposed an expressway along Girard Avenue through West Philadelphia. The planned east-west expressway was to connect the Schuylkill Expressway with the West Philadelphia Expressway (which at the time of the proposal was to extend north along Cobbs Creek to US 1-City Line Avenue).

In 1966, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission proposed a 2.8-mile-long, $60 million expressway along existing Girard Avenue and Lancaster Avenue. The Main Line Expressway, which would have been designated US 30, was continue the route of the proposed Girard Avenue Expressway west to City Line Avenue (existing US 1) in Overbrook. The east-west route, which was to take its name from the parallel SEPTA-Amtrak "Main Line" (R5 line), was to relieve congestion on the nearby Schuylkill Expressway (I-76).

Beginning at the Schuylkill Expressway at the current EXIT 342 (Girard Avenue), the Main Line Expressway was to continue west for approximately one mile along Girard Avenue, along the southern edge of Fairmount Park. The expressway was to take a turn northwest at Lancaster Avenue, continuing for approximately 1.8 miles to City Line Avenue. At North 52nd Street, there was to have been an interchange with the proposed West Philadelphia Expressway (US 1).

The Main Line Expressway, which was originally slated for completion by 1975, remained on planning maps through the first half of the 1970's. One "maximum test freeway" planning map devised by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) envisioned an extension of the Main Line Expressway (US 30) west to the US 202 Expressway in Chester County, connecting to the existing US 30 Expressway (Downingtown-Exton Bypass).

On July 1, 1977, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) halted all funding on proposed highway projects, effectively killing hopes for constructing new expressways in Philadelphia. Subsequently, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission dropped the Main Line Expressway from its future capital program.

SOURCES: "Philadelphia Expressway Program," Philadelphia City Planning Commission (1947); "Philadelphia's Comprehensive Plan for Expressways," Philadelphia City Planning Commission (1966); 1985 Regional Transportation Plan, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (1969); Capital Program: City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Planning Commission (1978); "Schuylkill Carries the Load of Many Roads Left Unbuilt" by Paul Nussbaum, The Philadelphia Inquirer (8/19/1984); Len Pundt.

  • US 30 shield by Ralph Herman.
  • Lightpost by Millerbernd Manufacturing Company.


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