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GIR: Underpasses

During the GR2 phase of construction, the underpasses at Shackamaxon Street, Marlborough Street and Columbia Avenue are being replaced. (Other underpasses, such as the one at Spring Garden Street, will be addressed in future project phases.) The new underpasses are longer (up to 160 feet) to accommodate wider shoulders and other safety improvements on the highway above.

The new underpasses are designed to make them feel like an extension of a neighborhood street. This means that they will have wide sidewalks and be well-lit with LED fixtures (right) to make them more comfortable and inviting for people walking between the neighborhoods and the waterfront. Decorative wall treatments for Shackamaxon and Marlborough streets evoke bubbles in the Delaware River. The LED lighting is being installed as a pilot project with PennDOT and the City of Philadelphia to test lighting options. The LED light fixtures will reduce energy consumption and produce a white light that is more attractive than typical street lights and increases nighttime visibility.

Columbia Avenue was identified as a primary connector to the waterfront in the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Recognizing this, PennDOT worked with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to design additional enhancements to this underpass. In addition to wide sidewalks and LED lighting, the underpass walls are enhanced by a diagonal design (right) that evokes a wampum belt, recognizing the Lenape native people indigenous to the area. Public art located at each end of the underpass builds on this theme with statues of a wolf, turkey, and turtles all of which were important symbols of the Lenape.

  • Status: Bridge construction completed in 2015