Construction Update: Spring 2018

Construction Substantially Completed on Final Two Bridges

May 2018 – PennDOT has substantially completed construction of the remaining two bridges that have been replaced under the $64.8 million project to replace seven deteriorated bridges and expand and improve public space over and adjacent to Interstate 676 in Center City Philadelphia with the opening of the new 18th Street overpass.

The replacement 18th Street bridge over I-676 was opened to traffic on May 4. Construction activities will continue through this summer to complete landscaping on the 18th Street span and to finish the tie-in of the I-676 westbound ramp to the 22nd Street bridge. Crews also will finish widening the I-676 west ramp to 22nd Street, and re-pave I-676 under the new bridges this summer.

The 22nd Street bridge opened to four lanes of traffic in December of 2017, but the east sidewalk remains closed  until work to widen the ramp from I-676 west is completed. Crews are currently installing parapet fence and highway lighting prior to the start of ramp work. (PennDOT advanced the start of work on the 21st Street and 22nd Street bridges in late 2016, cutting a year off the original construction schedule and allowing the entire project to be completed in the fall of 2018.)

PennDOT’s contractor will complete the removal of remnants of the center supports for the original bridges in May, and repave I-676 between 18th Street and 22nd Street and complete installation of new underside lighting later this spring. Bridge painting and clean-up will also take place this spring, substantially completing the project a year ahead of its original schedule.

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 of 2017, 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. The crosswalks will enhance pedestrian safety in one of the City’s premier tourism areas.

PennDOT opened the two pedestrian bridges in summer 2017: Between 20th and 19th Streets connecting Logan Square with the Free Library, and between 18th and 19th Streets connecting the square with the old Family Court building on north Vine Street.

Enhanced public spaces surrounding both overpasses also opened with the bridges. Both of 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 were completed in mid-summer of 2017 as well. They include a new intersection with the Parkway’s outer southbound lanes at 20th Street 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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