Continuing Northbound Reconstruction, Widening at Cottman Interchange
Ongoing reconstruction and widening of northbound Interstate 95 at the Cottman Avenue Interchange in Northeast Philadelphia will continue this winter with crews focused on overhead bridges, excavation and construction of long retaining walls along a 1.4 mile work zone that stretches from Levick Street to Bleigh Avenue.
Current construction is the third major stage of work under PennDOT’s $212 million project to rebuild and improve the interchange and adjoining sections of I-95.
Construction is progressing generally north to south along the northbound side of I-95, with deck beams in place and deck construction underway this winter on the northbound spans over Bleigh, Cottman (off-ramp), Princeton (on-ramp) and Longshore avenues and New State Road. Abutment walls are under construction at the northbound Magee and Unruh avenue bridges, with beam placement and the start of deck construction projected to begin there later in the winter.
The Princeton Avenue bridge also spans what will be an extension of eastbound Princeton Avenue under I-95 to Milnor Street. Crews eventually will punch through the embankment and finish the extension of Princeton Avenue once I-95 northbound construction is completed in that area.
All the new bridges will have decorative abutment walls depicting various icons that define the adjacent neighborhoods. LED (light emitting diode) lighting also is being installed at the underpasses, all part of the quality-of-life enhancements that came about as the result of interaction between PennDOT and the community Sustainable Action Committee (SAC) that met during the project’s design phase.
Lengthy retaining walls are in place from north of Bleigh Avenue to New State Road. Similar walls — known as “T” walls that utilize pre-cast concrete panels that are stacked and backfilled for stabilization — remain under construction along the northbound side in six areas between New State Road and the southern limit of the project at the I-95 Levick Street overpass. The walls will stabilize the embankment to support I-95 northbound widening between the overpasses.
Bridge and retaining wall work will continue through the winter as conditions permit.
On the west side of I-95, crews continue the relocation of a large water main in the area south of Cottman Avenue once occupied by a section of Wissinoming Street. Once the water line is installed and functioning this spring, the old main will be removed, a new sewer main will be installed in its place and work will begin on foundations for the new on-ramp to I-95 south from Cottman Avenue in construction that will continue into 2017. Cottman Avenue east of State Road already has been widened to provide access to the new ramp. Several other surfaces streets near the interchange, including sections of New State Road, Wissinoming Street and Bleigh Avenue in the vicinity of I-95, will be rebuilt in 2017 as well.
When northbound reconstruction and widening wrap up in late summer, crews will work into late 2016 to finish rebuilding the median. When median work finishes, motorists will have four through lanes for travel in each direction between the Cottman Avenue and Bridge Street interchanges.
Walsh Construction Company of Canonsburg, Pa. is the general contractor on the $212.3 million contract, which at the time was the largest single construction contract in PennDOT history.