Construction Continues on Final Two Bridges
With five of the seven bridges over Interstate 676 in Center City Philadelphia now completed, construction crews will work over the winter on the final two structures that are being replaced under PennDOT’s $64.8 million project to replace seven deteriorated bridges and expand and improve public space over and adjacent to the Center City Philadelphia expressway.
Work wrapped up last fall on the 21st Street bridge replacement, leaving only the 22nd Street and 18th Street bridges under construction heading into 2018.
While 22nd Street remains open to two lanes of traffic and the west sidewalk open for pedestrians, crews will finish the bridge’s east sidewalk and parapet this winter and begin work to complete the tie-in the westbound I-676 off-ramp to the northern side of the replacement span in the spring. (PennDOT advanced the start of work on the 21st Street and 22nd Street bridges in late 2016, shaving a year off the original construction schedule and allowing the entire project to be completed in fall 2018.)
On the replacement 18th Street bridge over I-676, which remains closed to vehicles and pedestrians, crews completed placement of the concrete deck in late 2017 and will work over the coming months to complete construction of the bridge’s approaches, its parapets and its sidewalks. The replacement bridge is on schedule to be reopened this spring.
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 this spring, substantially completing the project a year ahead of its original schedule.
Finished Bridges and Public Space
The 19th Street bridge was opened to vehicles and pedestrians in November 2016 following more than a year of construction. In early summer 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 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, 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 last summer, including construction of 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.
The replacement 21st Street bridge finished in fall 2017.Back to