Our History

A Unique Focus on the Link Between Infrastructure and Sprawl


S.A.V.E. was established in 1997 when concern arose regarding PennDOT’s proposal to expand Route 41 from the Delaware state line at Hockessin through southern Chester County.  The direct and indirect impacts of such a large infrastructure project would have had a devastating outcome on this rural community.  To counter this proposal, S.A.V.E. developed and promoted its own innovative, state-of-the-art, alternative solution for the Route 41 corridor. This plan addressed the stated need to improve safety, congestion, and infrastructure, and also minimized the creation of excess capacity and environmental impacts.  A conventional approach to improving the highway would have acted as a catalyst for unmitigated sprawl, loss of open space, prime agricultural lands, natural and historic resources, and degradation of community character and watersheds.  In 2009, because of S.A.V.E.’s efforts, PennDOT confirmed that the proposed bypasses were no longer being considered and that only safety and capacity improvements within the existing right-of-way would be planned.


Past Achievements 


Presented powerful arguments for a 2-lane vision of Route 41 that led to PennDOT's decision to abandon their proposed 4-lane expressway with high-speed bypasses

Assisted Marshallton village in a streetscape planning project to positively influence outcomes in PennDOT development

Worked with PennDOT and Chester County to determine the potential for a roundabout pilot project in the area

Provided technical assistance to Pocopson Township, which contributed to a roundabout at the intersection of Wawaset and Lenape-Unionville Road. The roundabout was opened in December 2014.



Successfully nominated Kennett Township's Chandler Mill Bridge for the National Register of Historic Places. Subsequently fought off a challenge by Pennsylvania’s Historic and Museums Commission, an important step toward protecting this localresource and establishing the precedent to protect many other small historic bridges

Celebrated Chandler Mill Bridge 100th birthday with a de rigueur party and the installation of an historic marker at the end of 2010

Helped with the launch of "historic hikes" in the Bucktoe Creek Preserve. The hikes highlight the historic sites throughout the preserve, the history of the area, and describe the efforts being made to preserve resources such as the Chandler Mill Bridge.

Alongside other local conservancy groups, supported an initiative to honor and protect scenic back roads, associated resources, and viewsheds in the Red Clay Valley. This preservation will be accomplished by expanding Delaware’s Red Clay Valley byway across into Pennsylvania.

Convinced PennDOT to establish a Historic Bridges Task Force. S.A.V.E. participated in this project, and in 2011 led a pilot project to resurvey the Chester County’s historic bridges to determine National Register eligibility.

Joined community efforts and provided technical assistance to protect the Hadfield Road (East Brandywine Township) and Watermark Road (Upper Oxford Township) Bridges. These bridges were facing a similar fate as Chandler Mill Bridge and all other historic Chester County-owned though-girder bridges.



A grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation enabled S.A.V.E. to develop model ordinances regarding land use and safety of gas pipelines. In addition, S.A.V.E. hosted educational workshops on pipelines, and provided outreach to Chester County municipalities to promote pipeline safety and environmental protection

Developed and launched a web site about pipeline safety and land use.

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