Construction Update: Fall 2017

September 2017 – While the public enjoys the improvements completed under Stage 1 of PennDOT’s $64.8 million project to replace seven bridges and expand and improve public space over and adjacent to Interstate 676, construction crews continue to make progress on the three remaining replacement bridges over the Center City Philadelphia expressway.

At the 22nd Street bridge, the concrete deck is in place for the eastern half of the replacement span as work continues on the bridge’s approach slab. The new bridge will  be completed in 2018. The western half of the new span was finished in mid-summer, shifting work to the opposite side, where crews dismantled the old deck, removed the old beams, and modified the abutments in advance of beam-setting.

Replacement of the eastern half of the new 21st Street bridge (right) also continues on a pace toward completion in 2018. With the entire new deck in place, construction of a sidewalk on the west side is underway/

Both the 22nd and 21st street bridges remain open to traffic during construction. Sidewalks are accessible on both new spans.

PennDOT advanced the start of work on these two bridges last November in a move that will allow the entire project to be completed in fall 2018, a year ahead of schedule.

Several blocks to the east, deck construction also is underway for the replacement 18th Street bridge over I-676 (left). Closed to traffic in May, the structure was carefully dismantled due to the presence of a number of utility lines and ducts that were carried over I-676 on the underside and between the beams of the old bridge. The abutments were then modified and the new beams set later last summer. Utility crews then went to work, adding conduit and ductwork to the interior of the superstructure. Deck preparation then resumed, heading for concrete placement this fall and completion in 2018.

PennDOT’s contractor will remove the remnants of the center supports for the original bridges, repave I-676 between 18th Street and 22nd Street, and complete installation of new underside lighting, bridge painting and clean-up in the first half of 2018.

Finished Bridges and Public Space

The replacement 19th Street bridge was opened to vehicles and pedestrians in November 2016 following more than a year of construction. In early summer, crews wrapped up work on the expansive 20th Street bridge and the related improvements that include several new crosswalks with pedestrian islands on 20th Street, Logan Circle and the Parkway that are designed to enhance pedestrian safety in one of the City’s premier tourism areas.

Also last summer, PennDOT opened two pedestrian bridges: Between 20th and 19th streets connecting Logan Square with the Free Library (right), and between 18th and 19th streets connecting the square with the old Family Court building on north Vine Street.

Enhanced public spaces surrounding both those overpasses also opened last summer. Both of these bridges include enhancements and amenities such as paver blocks, polished granite planter boxes, benches, ornamental fencing and lighting, decorative sidewalks, and extensive landscaping.

PennDOT expanded the public space at the Free Library bridge — known as Shakespeare Park — by capping the previously-open area over I-676 between the western edge of the old park and the 20th Street bridge. With landscaping and hardscaping amenities similar to those at the adjacent pedestrian bridge, this crossing also boasts an amphitheater encircled with benches and a large lawn area on the west side of the park.

Winter Street improvements between 20th and 21st streets also were completed in mid-summer, including construction of a new intersection with the Parkway’s outer southbound lanes at 20th Street (left) and a plaza along the side of the Franklin Institute with trees, plantings, benches and decorative sidewalks.  

The Pennypacker monument at the pedestrian bridge between 18th and 19th streets, the Miranda statue on Winter Street, the Civil War Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monuments on the Parkway, and the Shakespeare monument at the crossing between 19th and 20th streets have been professionally cleaned.

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