Prior to construction of the Route 33 Extension, there was no direct north-south route between Interstate 78 and US 22 in the Lehigh Valley. Access between the two limited access highways was via two-lane collector and minor arterial roadways. As development along the corridors increased, accidents and congestion increased and travel time between the two roadways soared.
Benesch designed the Hopeville Road Bridge as part of the SR 33 extension project for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Benesch’s design included horizontal and vertical alignments and a typical roadway section that minimized the impact on farmland without compromising safety. The resulting typical section was a four-lane roadway section separated by a 48-foot median. The alignment at the southern end of the project was depressed to reduce noise, while the northern end of the roadway was elevated to facilitate access. Interchanges were included in the project design at Freemansburg Avenue (SR 2018) and William Penn Highway (SR 2020).
The completion of the highway reduced traffic on the two-lane roadways, reduced travel time, and improved the safety of the overall transportation network while at the same time serving as a stimulus for continued economic development. The 3.2 mile Route 33 Extension is now a vital transportation link between Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley and New York City.