Pennsylvania Route 309

Pennsylvania Route 309

PA Route 309 marker

PA Route 309

Major highways in eastern Pennsylvania with PA 309 in red.
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length: 134 mi[1] (216 km)
Existed: 1968 – present
Major junctions
South end: PA 611 in Philadelphia
  I-276 / Penna. Tpk. at Ft. Washington
US 202 in Montgomeryville
I-78 near Allentown
US 222 / PA 222 in Allentown
US 22 in Allentown
US 209 in Tamaqua
I-81 near McAdoo
I-80 in Butler Township
I-81 near Wilkes Barre
US 11 in Kingston
North end: PA 29 near Noxen Township
Counties: Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Carbon, Luzerne, Wyoming
Highway system

Roads in Pennsylvania
Interstate • US • State • Legislative

PA 308 PA 310
US 22 PA-22 (1926).svg PA 23

Pennsylvania Route 309 is a major highway which runs for 134 miles (216 km) through Pennsylvania in the United States. It connects Philadelphia and its northern suburbs to Allentown, Hazleton, and Wilkes-Barre. A limited-access highway portion of PA 309 in the Wilkes-Barre area is known as the North Cross Valley Expressway. A limited-access highway portion of PA 309 in Montgomery County is known as the Fort Washington Expressway.

The highway runs from northern Philadelphia through the Lehigh Valley, the Poconos, and Wilkes-Barre to Bowman Creek, a village in Noxen Township, Wyoming County. It parallels the newer Interstates 476 and 81 for much of its length.


Route description

Philadelphia to Allentown

PA 309 begins in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia at Old York Rd (Pennsylvania Route 611). It follows Cheltenham Avenue and Ogontz Avenue for a short distance north to become the Fort Washington Expressway, a freeway that forms a major commuter route through the northern suburbs of Philadelphia, passing north through the towns of Fort Washington and Ambler, interchanging with the mainline of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the former. At Montgomeryville, the route becomes Bethlehem Pike, a four-lane highway through Montgomeryville, Telford, Quakertown, and Coopersburg, with alternating arterial road and freeway segments known for large sections of suburban sprawl. North of Coopersburg, the freeway briefly merges with Interstate 78 to form a primarily six-lane highway that crosses South Mountain before cutting through Allentown's South Side and skirting the city's southwest border.

Allentown to the Wyoming Valley

After I-78 and PA 309 split near Allentown's southwestern corner, the PA 309 freeway continues north, interchanging with U.S. Route 22 just east of Interstate 476. The freeway then empties onto a two-lane road northwest of Allentown, which is being widened to four lanes as of July 2008 in the Schnecksville area. It continues north through the Lehigh County suburbs of Orefield, Schnecksville, and New Tripoli then turns northwest, crossing Blue Mountain and the Appalachian Trail on the way to Tamaqua. It then parallels Interstate 81 northward, running through downtown Hazleton and meeting with Interstate 80 north of the city. North of I-80, the route climbs Nescopeck Mountain to the town of Mountain Top, then descends Penobscot Mountain into the Wyoming Valley and merges onto Interstate 81.

The Wyoming Valley to Bowman Creek

PA-309 as North Cross Valley Expressway

After running concurrently with Interstate 81 for several miles, PA 309 exits onto the North Cross Valley Expressway, a freeway through Wilkes-Barre and across the Susquehanna River to Trucksville. The route then continues northward as an arterial through Shavertown and Dallas, to its end at PA Route 29 at Bowman Creek, south of Tunkhannock.


US 309 (1961).svg

Starting out as a Native American path now referred to as the "Minsi Trail", this route became part of the Bethlehem Pike. In 1926, the U.S. Route 309 designation was given to a route that consisted of Stenton Avenue in Philadelphia, Bethlehem Pike (Old Route 309) from the Philadelphia line to Spring House, modern-day PA 309 into Bucks County, Bethlehem Pike (Old Route 309) through Sellersville, modern-day PA 309 from Quakertown to Lanark, and modern-day PA 145 to Allentown; various city streets through Allentown, exiting northward on Walbert Avenue; modern-day PA 309 from Walbert (in South Whitehall Township) to Schnecksville, modern-day PA 873 to Weiders Crossing near Lehigh Gap, modern-day PA 248 to Weissport, modern-day US 209 to Nesquehoning, modern-day PA 93 to Hazleton, and modern-day PA 309 (and PA 309 Business) to Wilkes-Barre.

In 1930 the highway was extended to the New York state line, following River Street to Pittston, modern-day PA 92 to Tunkhannock, modern-day US 6 to Towanda, and modern-day US 220 to South Waverly. In 1946 the route between Wilkes-Barre and Tunkhannock was changed to the modern-day PA 309 alignment from Wilkes-Barre to Bowman Creek and modern-day PA 29 to Tunkhannock.

In 1954 the routing between Allentown and Hazleton was completely changed. US 309 was routed north on modern-day PA 145 to Fullerton, then west on the Lehigh Valley Thruway along with the rerouted US 22 to Fogelsville. US 309 then turned north on modern-day PA 100 up to Pleasant Corners, and then followed modern-day PA 309 to Hazleton.

The late 1950s saw the beginnings of bypasses on the route. North of Philadelphia, the Fort Washington Expressway from the PA 73 interchange to north of Spring House opened in 1959; the rest of that expressway from PA 73 south to PA 152 opened in 1961. A bypass west of Allentown from Lanark to US 22 north of Cetronia was completed in 1959, and extended to Walbert in 1962 when US 309 was placed on modern-day PA 309 from US 22 to Pleasant Corners. US 309 had now completely replaced the stretch of the 1920s-era Pennsylvania Route 22 between the former PA 3 in Allentown and the former PA 19 in Wilkes-Barre.

The north end of US 309 had always been shared with other U.S. highways (6 and 220). In 1964 the US 309 designation was removed from those shared sections, leaving the northern terminus at Tunkhannock. In 1967, work began on an expressway to bypass Sellersville from just north of the Montgomery/Bucks County line to just south of Quakertown. This bypass opened in 1969. By that time, US 309 was no more; it was decommissioned in 1968 and was replaced by PA 309 south of Bowman Creek and by PA 29 from Bowman Creek to Tunkhannock.[1][2]

Major intersections

County Location Mile Exit Destinations Notes
Philadelphia East Oak Lane 0.0 PA 611 (Old York Road) Interchange
Montgomery Cheltenham 2.4 South end of expressway section
PA 152 north (Easton Road) – Glenside, Mount Airy, Germantown
Springfield Township Paper Mill Road – Springfield
5.2 PA 73 (Church Road) – Flourtown
Fort Washington 6.6 I-276 / Penna. Tpk. – Fort Washington, Harrisburg, New Jersey
Highland Avenue Northbound exit, southbound entrance
Upper Dublin Township Susquehanna Road Northbound exit, southbound entrance
Butler Pike – Ambler Southbound exit, northbound entrance
Lower Gwynedd Township Norristown Road
Bethlehem Pike Southbound exit, northbound entrance
North end of expressway section
12.2 PA 63 (Welsh Road)
Montgomeryville 14.4 US 202 south (DeKalb Pike) South end of US 202 overlap
15.3 US 202 north (Doylestown Road) / PA 463 (Cowpath Road, Horsham Road) North end of US 202 overlap
Hatfield South end of expressway section
Bethlehem PikeSellersville Northbound exit, southbound entrance
Bucks Souderton 21.5 PA 113 (Souderton Road) – Souderton
West Rockhill Township 23.3 PA 152 south (State Road) – Telford, Sellersville
Sellersville 25.3 PA 563 (Ridge Road) – Perkasie access provided via Lawn Avenue
West Rockhill Township Sellersville, Perkasie Southbound exit, northbound entrance
North end of expressway section
Quakertown 31.2 PA 663 south (John Fries Highway) / PA 313 east (Broad Street)
Lehigh Center Valley 37.5 PA 378 north – Bethlehem
Summit Lawn 40.7 South end of expressway section
60 I-78 east / PA 145 north (South Fourth Street) – Bethlehem Access to PA 145 from northbound.
South end of I-78 overlap
59 To PA 145 – Summit Lawn Southbound exit, northbound entrance
Allentown 58 Emaus Avenue south Northbound exit
57 Lehigh Street
44.9 55 PA 29 south (Cedar Crest Boulevard)
46.1 54 US 222 south / PA 222 north (Hamilton Boulevard) Signed as exits 54A (south) and 54B (north) northbound, Access to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
46.6 53 I-78 west (Walter J. Dealtrey Memorial Highway) – Harrisburg Northbound exit, southbound entrance.
North end of I-78 overlap
47.4 SR 1002 (Tilghman Street) to I-476 / Penna. Tpk. Former US 22
48.3 US 22 (Lehigh Valley Thruway) to I-476 / Penna. Tpk. – Bethlehem, Harrisburg
North end of expressway section
Schnecksville 54.3 PA 873 north (Main Street)
Heidelberg Township 59.1 PA 100 south
New Tripoli 61.7 PA 143 south (Decatur Street/Kings Highway)
Schuylkill West Penn Township 69.4 PA 895 (Lizard Creek Road/Summer Valley Road)
73.9 PA 443 east (Blakeslee Boulevard) South end of PA 443 overlap
75.0 PA 443 west (Clamtown Road) North end of PA 443 overlap
Tamaqua 78.1 US 209
Hometown 80.2 PA 54
McAdoo 84.7 I-81 Interchange
No major junctions in Carbon County
Luzerne Hazleton 88.3 PA 424
90.2 PA 93
91.1 PA 924 south
91.5 PA 940 east
Butler Township 98.1 I-80 Interchange
Mountain Top 108.0 PA 437 south
Wilkes-Barre 110.8 South end of expressway section
PA 309 Bus. – Wilkes-Barre
Northbound exit
I-81 south – Harrisburg Southbound exit
South end of I-81 overlap
168 Highland Park Boulevard - Wilkes-Barre
115.9 170 I-81 north / PA 115 south – Scranton, Bear Creek Signed as exits 170A (PA 115) and 170B (I-81); north end of I-81 overlap; east end of North Cross Valley Expressway
117.1 1
PA 315 / PA 309 Bus. – Dupont, Wilkes-Barre
2 North Wilkes-Barre Boulevard - Wilkes-Barre Center City
3 SR 2004 (South River Street) – Wilkes-Barre, Plains
Kingston 4 SR 1006 (Rutter Avenue) to US 11 – Kingston, Forty Fort Northbound exit and southbound entrance[3]
120.2 5 US 11 (Wyoming Avenue) – Forty Fort, Kingston Southbound exit and northbound entrance[3]
Pringle 6 SR 1013 (Union Street) – Luzerne Northbound exit and southbound entrance[4]
Luzerne SR 1008 (Main Street) – Luzerne Southbound exit and northbound entrance[4]
North end of expressway section (west end of North Cross Valley Expressway)
Dallas 126.1 PA 415 north
Wyoming Noxen Township 134.4 PA 29

Business route

PA Route 309 Business
Location: Wilkes-Barre Township

Pennsylvania Route 309 Business, often referred to as Business Route 309 or PA 309 BR, is the original alignment of PA Route 309 before the road was realigned to run concurrent with Interstate 81 between Exits 165 and 170. This business route stretches approximately 4.7 miles (7.6 km) through Wilkes-Barre Township.

Route description

Where PA 309 merges onto Interstate 81 at Exit 165, Business Route 309 heads north on Wilkes-Barre Township Boulevard. The route intersects with main streets such as Blackman Street, East Northampton Street, Highland Park Boulevard, Coal Street, Mundy Street, and Scott Street. It then follows along Kidder Street where it forms the northern boundary of the Wyoming Valley Mall property and rejoins PA 309 at the intersection of PA Route 315 near Exit 170 of Interstate 81.

At the intersection of Business Route 309 and Casey Avenue is a park and ride facility with 75 total spaces.[5]


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