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Construction Update

Girard Avenue Interchange Construction Update: Winter 2015/16

Jan 02, 2016

Work Finishes at Southern End, Viaduct Construction Starts at the Northern End of the Girard Avenue Interchange

January 2016 - Widening and reconstruction wrapped up in early winter at the southern end of the Interstate 95 Girard Avenue Interchange while crews at the northern end of the interchange’s northbound viaduct begin work to rebuild and widen the mile-long structure.

PennDOT in late December finished rebuilding and widening 1,200 feet of I-95 between Palmer Street and Frankford Avenue to four lanes in each direction, including construction of a continuous on-off lane in both directions between the ramps at the Girard  Avenue and Interstate 676 interchanges (I-95/GR2).

Also included in the work between Palmer Street and Frankford Avenue was installation of noise barrier walls — with transparent top panels — and replacement of the I-95 bridges over Columbia Avenue, Marlborough Street and Shackamaxon Street. The new bridges have decorative walls and LED lighting. Special landscaped areas also were planted along Richmond Street adjacent to I-95 (left photo). These quality of life enhancements were added as a result of interactions between PennDOT and community groups represented on the  I-95 Sustainable Actions Committee (SAC).

On the Viaduct
As work wrapped up at the southern end of the interchange, construction began on the northern end of the mile-long I-95 north viaduct between Palmer Street in Fishtown and Ann Street in Port Richmond (I-95/GR3). Crews in December set the first grouping of steel beams for the new viaduct atop new concrete piers constructed between Ann and Somerset streets. With the beams in place, workers this winter are building I-95 north’s new concrete deck (right photo).

Demolition crews continue dismantling sections of the old viaduct south of Somerset Street. Most of the structure between Palmer Street and Aramingo Avenues was demolished in the fall. The remaining viaduct segment between Aramingo Avenue and Somerset Street will be demolished over the winter.

While demolition and reconstruction is taking place on sections of the viaduct, crews in other areas will build the remaining concrete piers that will support other sections of the new structure. Beams will be set in groupings as piers are finished, with deck building crews following to prepare sections where beams are erected for concrete placement in the spring.

Northbound on-ramp closed
Also slated for demolition this winter is the old on-ramp to I-95 north from Delaware Avenue. The on-ramp was closed permanently in December. Motorists normally using the ramp are being detoured north on Richmond Street — which reopened between Lehigh Avenue and Ann Street in late November — to a temporary detour road that PennDOT built alongside I-95 north between Cambria Street and Allegheny Avenue. The detour takes motorist east on Allegheny, north on N. Delaware Avenue, and west on Castor Avenue to the on-ramp to I-95 north.

Motorists heading north on Richmond Street from the closed ramp now pass under four new Conrail bridges that replace the old, dank low-hanging structure that carried rail lines over Richmond Street near Somerset Street. Unlike the old bridge, the four new adjacent overpasses, which were completed in November, have an open feel, with attractive side walls, wide sidewalks and decorative street lights like those on the improved Richmond Street immediately to the south.

Construction also finished last fall on a large sewer line interceptor east of Richmond Street at Somerset Street.

Southbound Richmond Street also is closed between Lehigh and Delaware avenues until mid-2017 for the construction of a new intersection where the new northbound I-95 entrance and exit ramps will be located (left photo). Richmond Street’s intersection with the new access ramps will be located just south of its existing intersection with Girard Avenue.

Utility relocations continue on both sides of Delaware Avenue between Columbia Avenue and Richmond Street. Subsurface gas, water, sewer and electrical lines are being moved and upgraded as part of the reconstruction of Delaware Avenue and as part of construction of the new intersection of Richmond Street with the new northbound ramps.

The work being done on I-95 and alongside the interstate is associated with three of six contracts valued at $342 million to rebuild the I-95/Girard Avenue Interchange and adjoining sections of the highway to the north and south of the interchange. James J. Anderson Construction Company, Inc. of Philadelphia is the general contractor on the three projects.