Pennsylvania Route 291

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Pennsylvania Route 291

Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length14.014 mi[1] (22.553 km)
Major junctions
West end
Major intersections
East end I-76 in Philadelphia
CountryUnited States
CountiesDelaware, Philadelphia
Highway system
PA 290 PA 292

Pennsylvania Route 291 (PA 291) is an east–west state route in Pennsylvania that runs from U.S. Route 13 (US 13) and US 13 Business (US 13 Bus.) in Trainer, Delaware County, east to Interstate 76 (I-76) in South Philadelphia near the Walt Whitman Bridge and the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. Except for a short 1-mile (1.6 km) section between the western terminus and the Chester/Trainer line, PA 291 is mostly a four-lane highway. From the western terminus to the eastern part of Chester, the route has a concurrency with US 13. It runs parallel to the Delaware River for much of the route. The route passes through industrial areas near the river in Delaware County, serving Chester, Eddystone, Essington, and Lester. PA 291 enters Philadelphia near the Philadelphia International Airport, at which point it has an interchange with I-95. The route crosses the Schuylkill River on the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge and continues along Penrose Avenue to I-76. It has been designated the Industrial Heritage Highway.[2][3]

PA 291 was first designated by 1928 along an unpaved road from PA 420 in Prospect Park east to PA 191. The route was extended west to US 13 in Eddystone by 1930 on a paved road. PA 291 was realigned to run from US 13 in Trainer to PA 420 in Essington by 1940. The route was extended to PA 191 in Philadelphia by 1950, following Industrial Highway. PA 291 was extended to US 611 (now PA 611) at Philadelphia City Hall in Center City Philadelphia along Penrose Avenue, Moyamensing Avenue, and Broad Street. A freeway was proposed along the PA 291 corridor between I-95 and I-76 from 1950 until the 1970s, when it was cancelled due to funding issues. The eastern terminus was moved to its current location by 1989, with an extended PA 611 replacing PA 291 on Broad Street. Around 2000, the route was rebuilt as a five-lane road in Chester. PA 291 was realigned further to the northwest to bypass the Philadelphia International Airport in 2006.

Route description

US 13 southbound/PA 291 westbound in Chester

PA 291 begins at an intersection with US 13 and the southern terminus of US 13 Bus. near Delta Air Lines' Trainer Refinery in the borough of Trainer in Delaware County, heading southeast on two-lane undivided Price Street concurrent with US 13. The road passes between homes to the northeast and industrial areas to the southwest. The two routes make a sharp curve to the northeast and become West 2nd Street, crossing into the city of Chester and running through urban residential and industrial areas. US 13/PA 291 continues northeast and becomes a five-lane road with a center left-turn lane as it passes more urban development and empty lots. The two routes come to ramps that provide access from the eastbound direction of US 322 and to the westbound direction of US 322 just northwest of where that route crosses the Delaware River on the Commodore Barry Bridge. The road passes under the western approach of the Commodore Barry Bridge carrying US 322.[4][5]

Following this, US 13/PA 291 passes more urban homes and businesses as it heads northwest of the Chester Waterfront along the Delaware River. The two routes split from West 2nd Street and continue northeast as an unnamed road, crossing Chester Creek before passing south of Chester's City Hall and north of the William Penn Landing Site. US 13/PA 291 intersects the southern terminus of PA 320 (Madison Street northbound and Upland Street southbound), at which point the road becomes East 4th Street. The road continues through commercial areas and US 13 splits from PA 291 by turning north onto Morton Avenue. At this point, PA 291 runs between Amtrak's Northeast Corridor railroad line to the northwest and State Correctional Institution – Chester to the southeast before intersecting Harrah's Boulevard, which provides access to Harrah's Philadelphia casino and harness racetrack to the southeast along the Delaware River. The road continues northeast between the Amtrak line to the northwest and Conrail Shared Assets Operations' (CSAO) Chester Industrial Track line to the southeast, crossing the Ridley Creek out of Chester and into the borough of Eddystone.[4][5]

PA 291 eastbound past PA 420 in Essington

Here, PA 291 becomes Industrial Highway, a four-lane divided highway, and continues east, with the Northeast Corridor line heading northeast away from the highway. The road runs through industrial areas, passing to the north of Exelon's Eddystone Generating Station. The route crosses the Crum Creek into Ridley Township and passes through Boeing Defense, Space & Security's Vertical Lift helicopter plant. In this area, PA 291 intersects Stewart Avenue, which heads northwest to an interchange with I-95. Past this, the Chester Industrial Track heads farther south from the road as it passes more commercial establishments. The route crosses the Darby Creek into Tinicum Township and runs east past businesses and private airport parking lots, intersecting the southern terminus of PA 420 to the north of the community of Essington.[4][5]

Past this intersection, PA 291 continues east through commercial areas with some homes, becoming Governor Printz Boulevard. The route heads northeast into the community of Lester, where it passes north of a private airport parking lot and splits into the one-way pair of South Governor Printz Boulevard eastbound and North Governor Printz Boulevard westbound, carrying two lanes in each direction and passing more development. The two directions rejoin as a four-lane divided highway with a wide median that runs near commercial establishments, heading to the south of an office park and coming to a ramp from northbound I-95 to eastbound PA 291 that merges in from the left. From here, the route continues east as four-lane divided Industrial Highway between I-95 to the north and a lake to the south, coming to a bridge over CSAO's Chester Secondary railroad line. At this point, PA 291 reaches the Philadelphia International Airport, where it turns north onto four-lane divided Bartram Avenue and crosses under I-95 while Industrial Highway continues east to the airport passenger terminals and Scott Way continues south to private airport parking lots and the airport cargo terminals.[4][5]

PA 291 eastbound along Bartram Avenue near the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia

After crossing under I-95, PA 291 enters the city of Philadelphia in Philadelphia County and curves to the northeast, running parallel to the Chester Secondary to the northwest, with the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum located on the other side of the railroad tracks. The road passes under SEPTA's Airport Line leading to the airport, at which point that railroad line comes to a junction with the Chester Secondary. The route continues northeast parallel to the Airport Line, reaching a partial interchange with I-95 that has ramps to and from the southbound lanes of I-95. Within this interchange, a park and ride lot is located southeast of the road. PA 291 passes to the northwest of a business park and hotels before it curves away from the railroad tracks near the Eastwick station on the Airport Line and heads to the north of the airport's Employee Parking Lot, intersecting 84th Street. The route turns south onto four-lane divided Island Avenue and passes under I-95 again, with a ramp to southbound I-95. On the edge of the Philadelphia International Airport property, to the east of the airport's Economy Parking Lot, PA 291 turns east onto six-lane undivided Penrose Avenue and passes more businesses, curving northeast and coming to a partial interchange with I-95 that has a ramp from northbound I-95 to PA 291 and a ramp from southbound PA 291 to southbound I-95. Past this interchange, the route becomes four lanes and ascends onto the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge, a through truss bridge, passing near industrial areas before heading over CSAO's 60th Street Industrial Track line and crossing over the Schuylkill River.[4][6]

After crossing the river, the bridge passes over part of the large former Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery. After descending off the bridge, the route continues as four-lane divided Penrose Avenue near industrial areas. PA 291 has a junction with 26th Street, which heads north to provide access to westbound I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) and from eastbound I-76, and an entrance road that heads south to The Navy Yard, a mixed-use development that is located at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Past this intersection, the road passes under a CSAO railroad spur and CSX's Harrisburg Subdivision railroad line before intersecting Pattison Avenue, which heads east to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, and becoming a five-lane road with a center left-turn lane, running past homes and businesses in South Philadelphia. PA 291 reaches its eastern terminus at a partial interchange with I-76, with access to eastbound I-76 and from westbound I-76. Past this, the road continues northeast as Moyamensing Avenue.[4][6]


When Pennsylvania first legislated routes in 1911, what would become PA 291 was not legislated as part of any route.[7] PA 291 was first designated by 1928 to run from PA 420 in Prospect Park east to PA 191 along an unpaved road.[8] By 1930, PA 291 was extended west to US 13 in Eddystone, following PA 420 south for a short concurrency before continuing west along its current alignment. The extended alignment of PA 291 was a paved road.[9] By 1940, PA 291 was realigned to run from US 13 in Trainer east to PA 420 near Essington. The former alignment east of PA 420 became an unnumbered road.[10]

PA 291 eastbound in Ridley Township

PA 291 was extended northeast to PA 191 (80th Street) in Philadelphia by 1950, following the newly-built Industrial Highway in Tinicum Township before heading along Essington Avenue.[11] In the 1950s, PA 291 was extended northeast to US 611 at Philadelphia City Hall in Center City Philadelphia, following Penrose Avenue, Moyamensing Avenue, and Broad Street to Center City Philadelphia. This section replaced the PA 191 designation along Penrose Avenue, Moyamensing Avenue, and Broad Street.[12] In the 1970s, the Airport Circle was removed.[13]

In 1950, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission proposed a PA 291 freeway along Penrose Avenue between the Delaware Expressway (I-95) near the Philadelphia International Airport and the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) in South Philadelphia. The freeway was to split into two alignments leading to I-76: one following South 26th Street to connect to westbound I-76 and the other following Penrose Avenue to connect to eastbound I-76.[14] Plans for the PA 291 freeway were dropped in the 1970s because the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation halted a number of road projects due to funding issues.[15]

US 13 northbound/PA 291 eastbound in Chester

The eastern terminus of PA 291 was cut back from PA 3 and PA 611 at Philadelphia City Hall to I-76 by 1989. The former portion of PA 291 along Broad Street was replaced by an extended PA 611.[16] In 1999, PA 291 was realigned in Chester to a new five-lane alignment that connected 2nd Street and 4th Street to improve travel for trucks and attempt to revitalize Chester. Construction of the new alignment took two years.[17] Before this, PA 291 continued east along 2nd Street and turned north on Crosby Street to reach 4th Street.[18] Expansion of the road to five lanes through the remainder of Chester was slated to be complete in 2001.[17] In 2005, a bill was introduced into the Pennsylvania General Assembly designating the portion of PA 291 through Chester as the Rosa Parks Memorial Highway in honor of civil rights activist Rosa Parks; this bill was signed into law by Governor Ed Rendell on October 27, 2006.[19][20]

In 2006, PA 291 was rerouted to use Bartram Avenue and Island Avenue around the Philadelphia International Airport instead of Industrial Highway due to runway expansion at the airport.[21] In May 2011, a $42 million project began to rehabilitate the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge. The project was completed in June 2014.[22] In 2022, US 13 was realigned to run concurrent with PA 291 between the western terminus in Trainer and Morton Avenue in Chester.[23]

Major intersections


US 13 south / US 13 Bus. north (Post Road) – Marcus Hook, Chester
Western terminus; southern terminus of US 13 Bus.; west end of US 13 overlap

US 322 west to I-95 – Wilmington, Philadelphia
Interchange; entrance to westbound US 322 and exit from eastbound US 322
PA 320 north (Madison Street)
Southern terminus of PA 320
PA 320 south (Upland Street)
US 13 north (Morton Avenue)
East end of US 13 overlap
Tinicum Township6.2069.988

PA 420 north (Wanamaker Avenue) to I-95 – Morton
Southern terminus of PA 420
7.76012.489 I-95 (Delaware Expressway)Eastbound entrance from exit 10 on northbound I-95
8.40913.533 Industrial Highway east – Philadelphia International Airport
I-95 south (Delaware Expressway) – Chester
Exit 12B on I-95; access to and from southbound I-95
I-95 south (Delaware Expressway) – Chester
Exit 13 on I-95; access to southbound I-95 and from northbound I-95

To I-95 south (Delaware Expressway) – Philadelphia International Airport
Westbound exit only
George C. Platt Memorial Bridge over the Schuylkill River

26th Street to I-76 west – Valley Forge

Pattison Avenue east to I-76 west / I-95 – Sports Complex
I-76 east (Schuylkill Expressway) – Walt Whitman Bridge
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; exit 348 on I-76; eastern terminus
14.01422.553Penrose Avenue east to Moyamensing AvenueContinuation beyond I-76 flyover ramps
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

PA 291 Alternate Truck

Alternate truck plate.svg

PA Route 291 Alternate Truck

LocationTinicum Township-Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Route 291 Alternate Truck is a truck route that bypasses a weight restricted bridge on mainline PA 291 on which trucks over 31 tons and combination loads over 35 tons are prohibited. The route follows PA 420 and I-95, and it was formed in 2023.

PA 291 Alternate Truck westbound exiting I-95 onto PA 420 in Tinicum Township.


  1. ^ a b Bureau of Maintenance and Operations (January 2015). Roadway Management System Straight Line Diagrams (Report) (2015 ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "Industrial Heritage Parkway Interpretive Signage Guidelines - Volume I Project Narrative" (PDF). Delaware County Planning Commission. May 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  3. ^ "Industrial Hwy Transportation Improvements, Route 291, LR-542, Chester, Delaware County: Environmental Impact Statement". Federal Highway Administration. 1986. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Google (January 17, 2014). "Pennsylvania Route 291" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Delaware County, Pennsylvania Highway Map (PDF) (Map). PennDOT. 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Highway Map (PDF) (Map). PennDOT. 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  7. ^ Map of Pennsylvania Showing State Highways (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1911. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Highway Map (Philadelphia Metro) (Map). Gulf Oil. 1928. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  9. ^ Tourist Map of Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1930. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Official Road Map of Pennsylvania (back) (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1940. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Official Road Map of Pennsylvania (back) (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1950. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  12. ^ Official Map of Pennsylvania (back) (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Highways. 1960. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Official Transportation Map (back) (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1980. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  14. ^ Schuylkill Expressway, Roosevelt Boulevard Expressway and Vine Street Expressway (Report). Philadelphia City Planning Commission. 1950.
  15. ^ Nussbaum, Paul (August 19, 1984). "Schuylkill Carries the Load of Many Roads Left Unbuilt". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Official Transportation Map (back) (PDF) (Map). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 1989. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Hardy, Dan (October 8, 1999). "End Of The Road For Construction Construction On Route 291 In Chester Is Finally Complete - For Now. A New Phase Of The Project Is Set To Begin In 2001". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  18. ^ Delaware County, Pennsylvania Highway Map (PDF) (Map). PennDOT. 1996. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  19. ^ SENATE BILL No. 599, Pennsylvania General Assembly, 2005, retrieved August 3, 2010
  20. ^ Act 127, Pennsylvania General Assembly, 2006, retrieved March 30, 2018
  21. ^ Belden, Tom (September 30, 2006). "Road near airport to be rerouted". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  22. ^ "Platt Bridge Project Overview". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  23. ^ "PennDOT Establishes New Business U.S. 13, Redesignates U.S. 13 over Route 291 to Improve Truck Travel in the City of Chester" (Press release). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. February 11, 2022. Retrieved February 15, 2022.

External links