Ramp meters at the four entrance ramps to Interstate 476 in Plymouth Township will begin operation on Wednesday, August 22 at 3 p.m., according to PennDOT.
The meters will be operating at:
- Chemical Road on-ramp to I-476 South
- Westbound Ridge Pike on-ramp to I-476 South
- Eastbound Ridge Pike on-ramp to I-476 South
- Eastbound Ridge Pike on-ramp to I-476 North.
The ramp meters, which are traffic signals without the amber caution light, will be in operation Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.
They can also be used during emergency situations.
According to the PennDOT news release, the ramp meters stagger the "rate at which vehicles enter I-476 so that merging vehicles are less likely to slow mainline traffic, thus improving travel times and lessening the potential for crashes at entrance ramps."
Similar to a traffic signal, when the light is red, the driver must stop and when the light is green the driver can go. However, unlike a traffic signal, only one driver per lane can merge on a free light.
A yellow flashing light will warn drivers when ramp meters are operating on an entrance ramp.
Disregarding a ramp meter is a punishable offense that carries the same penalties as running a red light.