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Construction Update

Betsy Ross/Aramingo Avenue Interchange Update: Spring 2016

Mar 30, 2016

Ramp Construction, Paving this Spring at the B. Ross Bridge/Aramingo Interchange

Spring 2016 -- Varying stages of construction this spring at the Interstate 95 Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue Interchange find crews demolishing old piers, building new ones, setting beams on completed piers, placing deck steel atop those new beams and pouring concrete pavement on several new and modified ramp structures on both sides of I-95.

Ongoing construction at the interchange is being done under a $160.2 million project to improve access between I-95,  Aramingo Avenue and the Betsy Ross Bridge. It is the first of three contracts to improve the interchange and rebuild and widen almost one mile of I-95 adjacent to the interchange.

Crews have completed beam setting and begun deck construction on the new replacement ramp from I-95 south to the bridge. The new ramp rises up and over I-95 to a new pier and abutment on the east side of I-95 that connects to the stub-end of the previously un-finished connection to the bridge. The new ramp is being paved this spring following placement of reinforcing steel on the new structure.

In addition to the replacement ramp to the bridge from I-95 south, crews are building a second, new ramp from Aramingo Avenue to the bridge (left).  Beam setting for this new ramp began in February, starting at a new abutment built against an embankment on the west side of Aramingo Avenue and working its way east over top of Aramingo Avenue, across the interchange area and over I-95 to merge with the new replacement ramp from I-95 south.

And another new replacement ramp — from Aramingo Avenue to I-95 south — also remains under construction. Crews have removed the old ramp’s superstructure and are working this spring to demolish the old ramp’s towering piers before building new supports for the wider on-ramp. The lower end of this ramp, which remains open to carry traffic to I-95 north, is currently being widened on the southbound side.

A large, pre-cast box culvert that tunnels through the interchange area to carry storm water to a controlled outfall in the adjacent Frankford Creek, is also now in place.

PennDOT will maintain three travel lanes in each direction on I-95 at the interchange during construction; however, overnight lane closures may occur during traffic pattern changes and for stages of construction in the center of the interstate.

PennDOT’s contractor will work through fall 2017 to rebuild most of the existing ramps at the interchange and to build new ramps to connect the bridge and Aramingo Avenue. That work includes:

•     Constructing a new ramp to carry westbound traffic from the Betsy Ross Bridge over I-95 to Aramingo Avenue;

•     Building a new ramp to carry Aramingo Avenue traffic to the Betsy Ross Bridge;

•     Widening the bridge on the ramp carrying northbound I-95 traffic to Aramingo Avenue;

•     Widening and replacing the bridge deck on the ramp over Aramingo Avenue, Conrail and Frankford Creek that carries Aramingo Avenue traffic to I-95 South;

•     Relocating and replacing the ramp carrying southbound traffic over I-95 to the Betsy Ross Bridge;

•     Rehabilitating the bridge on the ramp carrying southbound I-95 traffic to Aramingo Avenue;  and       

    Widening and replacing the bridge deck over Aramingo Avenue that carries traffic from the northbound and southbound I-95 and westbound Betsy Ross Bridge to Aramingo Avenue.

Additional to the relocation of the storm sewer culvert, the initial contract includes installation of new traffic signals along Richmond Street in the vicinity of the interchange; relocating Philadelphia Gas Works’ gas mains under abandoned Thompson Street;  relocating PECO Energy underground electric lines under abandoned Thompson Street and removing the abandoned Thompson Street bridge over Frankford Creek.