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PennDOT Opens Two New Pedestrian Bridges over I-676

Winter Street Adjacent to The Franklin Institute Also Reopens

King of Prussia, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the new pedestrian bridge over Interstate 676 between 20th Street and 19th Street in Philadelphia, commonly known as the Free Library Bridge or Shakespeare Park, opened to the public today.

In addition to replacing the pedestrian bridge linking Logan Square with Vine Street, PennDOT expanded Shakespeare Park by covering part of the previously opened area over I-676 at the west side of the park. The entire park has been hardscaped with paver blocks to create an amphitheater, and landscaped with a variety of trees and shrubs. Planter boxes and decorative street lights line the new sidewalks along Vine Street on the north side of Logan Square, new park benches were installed and the Shakespeare statue was cleaned and refurbished.

PennDOT also reopened Winter Street today between 21st Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway following construction of a new intersection with the eastbound outer lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The contractor realigned Winter Street along the side of the Franklin Institute to create a perpendicular intersection with the Parkway’s outer lanes. This improvement establishes a new plaza along the side of the Franklin Institute that has been hardscaped with paver blocks and landscaped with a variety of trees. Park benches were also installed at the corner of Winter Street and the Parkway, and along the Parkway’s outer drive between the Parkway and 21st Street.

Last week, PennDOT finished construction on the new pedestrian structure, known as the Family Court Bridge between 18th Street and 19th Street. The new bridge, which also opened to the public today, features a park-like setting, with decorative paver block and exposed aggregate sidewalks winding through a central area filled with planter boxes of flowers and grasses, decorative street lighting, ornamental fencing, trees and polished granite park benches surrounding a large oval lawn. The refurbished Pennypacker Monument stands at the southern entrance to the bridge.

The work is part of PennDOT’s $64.8 million project to replace seven structurally deficient bridges over I-676 between 22nd Street and 18th Street, and to make landscaping and streetscape improvements above the expressway.

Three additional bridges over I-676 remain under construction, including 18th Street, 21st Street and 22nd Street bridges. Construction on the entire project began in April 2015 and will finish in November 2018, a year ahead of schedule.  

Buckley & Company, Inc. of Philadelphia is the general contractor on the project which is financed with 100 percent federal funds.

For more information on the I-676 project, visit www.bridgesover676.com.

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