How a Four-Lane Strip of Highway Spawned Western-Montco Exurb

Lakeside in Limerick exurbs route 422
Image via the Limerick Township Historical Society.
This 1952 painting shows a vintage view of what is now the Copperfield Inn at Lakeside on Ridge Pike in Limerick.

Before the opening of U.S. Route 422 in 1985, Limerick Township was a farming community with around 5,000 residents and abundant open space. Holly Herman covered the transformation of this exurbs in the Limerick-Royersford-Spring City Patch.

Limerick — which was founded by European settlers in 1726 — was redefined by the new roadway.

It sparked commercial and residential development in the communities it traverses along 22 miles of Montgomery County geography:

Clusters of residents in these sites have developed into vibrant, productive exurbs.

For example, Limerick’s present population is 20,651; 1970 census data for “Jefferson-Trooper” (specific data for Limerick were unavailable) show a scant 5,410 inhabitants.

Boosting the number of home purchasers in Limerick were economic drivers that included the opening of the Limerick Generating Station’s first unit in 1986 and its second in 1990.

Today, these plants have 840 employees.

“We are getting more and more townhouse developments,” said Martin Witte, president of the Limerick Township Historical Society. “More than half the people living here, are here less than 40 years.”

Royersford and Spring City — once referred to as the Pulse of Schuylkill Valley — were manufacturing towns with foundries and knitting mills, among other businesses.

Meanwhile, Upper Providence Township grew around the river traffic from the five-mile Schuylkill Canal built in 1846.

Read more about these thriving exurbs in the Limerick-Royersford-Spring City Patch.


A local real estate agent profiled current-day Limerick in Apr. 2022.

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