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Construction Update

Cottman Avenue Interchange Status: Summer 2015

Jun 22, 2015
Center Section Reconstruction Continues at Cottman Interchange

Reconstruction of the center section of Interstate 95 at the Cottman Avenue Interchange in Northeast Philadelphia is progressing this summer, with bridge crews working from north to south building the center section of seven spans and paving crews following the bridge workers paving new roadway sections between each bridge.

All the mainline activities are taking place along a 1.4 mile median-area work zone that stretches from Bleigh Avenue to Levick Street, the second of three major stages of construction on PennDOT’s $212 million project to rebuild and improve the interchange and adjoing sections of I-95.

New abutments are in place and deck beams have been placed for the center portions of all seven bridges. As of early summer, deck concrete has been placed on the bridges carrying I-95 over Bleigh Avenue and Cottman Avenue, and crews have begun paving starting north of Bleigh Avenue and between the Bleigh Avenue and Cottman Avenue spans.

Deck construction will continue over the summer at bridges over Princeton Avenue and the ramp to I-95 north, New State Road, Longshore Avenue, Unruh Avenue and Magee Avenue. Paving crews will place concrete and bituminous paving between each of the completed spans working toward finishing the current stage of the project this fall, allowing PennDOT to shift northbound traffic to the median and begin full-scale work on the northbound side.

The new bridges all 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.

Surface Street Work at Cottman
Work also is underway along Milnor Street adjacent to the northbound on-ramp from Princeton Avenue. Crews are excavating the embankment to install shoring that will support I-95 during construction on the northbound side of the overpass.  Along with reconstruction of the bridge, crews eventually will punch through the embankment to extend eastbound Princeton Avenue through to Milnor Street under the next stage of construction.

Progress is being made on installation of the 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 fall, the old water line will be removed and a new sewer line will be installed in its place. Construction of the new on-ramp to I-95 south from Cottman Avenue will begin once the sewer line is in place next summer or fall.

And work to extend the stormwater drainage system from I-95 to outfalls along the river continues along Bleigh Avenue east of Milnor Street, where crews are working around the continuous flow of commercial vehicles using that street to access facilities along the river.

When completed in 2017, the Cottman Avenue Interchange project will provide four through lanes between the Cottman Avenue and Bridge Street interchanges. Construction on I-95 at the Cottman Avenue Interchange began in fall 2012.

Walsh Construction Company of Canonsburg, Pa. is the general contractor on the $212.3 million contract, which is the largest single construction contract in PennDOT history.