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Construction Update

Cottman Avenue Interchange Status: Winter 2014/15

Jan 07, 2015

I-95 Center Section Reconstruction in 2015

Reconstruction of 1.4 miles of Interstate 95 at the Cottman Avenue Interchange in Northeast Philadelphia has shifted to the center section of the interstate, where crews will rebuild the median and the middle portion of seven overpasses in 2015. This is the second of three major stages of construction on PennDOT’s $212 million interchange improvement project.

Crews finished rebuilding and widening the southbound lanes in late 2014 and immediately relocated the construction zone to the middle of I-95. Three lanes of southbound traffic are now riding on rebuilt and widened concrete pavement from approaching Bleigh Avenue at the northern end to Levick Street at the southern limit of work. Three lanes of northbound vehicles continue riding on the northbound side.

Construction activities this winter are focused on demolition and reconstruction of the center portions of seven I-95 bridges — over New State Road (left photo) and Bleigh, Cottman, Princeton, Longshore, Unruh and Magee avenues.  Once the sections of old bridge decks, deck beams and abutments and piers are removed, crews will begin construction of new abutments (end walls) at all seven locations. Daytime pile driving operations will take place this winter at a number of the bridge construction areas.

The new bridges will have decorative abutment walls (right photo) depicting various icons that define the adjacent neighborhoods. LED (light emitting diode) lighting also is being installed at the underpasses. These quality-of-life enhancements are the result of interaction between PennDOT and the community Sustainable Action Committee (SAC) that met during the project’s design phase.

Working as weather conditions permit, crews have removed the median barrier and will begin excavating the median pavement. Installation of the median’s storm water drainage system will be completed in early winter.

Similar bridge and roadway widening and reconstruction will take place on the northbound side of I-95 in 2015 and 2016

Installation of a new water main continues on the west side of I-95 between the Cottman Avenue off-ramp and the Princeton Avenue on-ramp. Once this utility work finishes in later this year, work will begin on a new southbound on-ramp from Cottman Avenue. Cottman Avenue east of State Road has been widened to include a lane that will feed the new on-ramp.

Widening of the existing northbound and southbound off-ramps at the interchange also continues.

Installation of storm water pipes from I-95 to outlets along several streets to the east of Milnor Street and New State Road is nearing completion.

When completed, the Cottman Avenue Interchange project will provide four through lanes and a fifth continuous lane for exit and entry between the Academy Road, Cottman Avenue and Bridge Street interchanges. These continuous on-off lanes will improve traffic flow on this heavily used interstate highway by allowing motorists to enter and exit I-95 without disrupting the flow of through traffic.

Construction on I-95 at the Cottman Avenue Interchange began in fall 2012 and is scheduled to finish in 2016.

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.