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Construction Update

Girard Avenue Interchange Construction Update: Winter 2017-2017

Jan 23, 2017

I-95 Reconstruction Focused on Southern Half of New Viaduct

Construction of the new northbound viaduct continues at the Interstate 95 Girard Avenue Interchange, where much of this winter’s activity is focused along the southern half of the mile-long structure where it runs parallel with Delaware Avenue at the edge of the Fishtown and Port Richmond neighborhoods.

Much of the concrete deck is in place on the northern half of the new viaduct from about Girard Avenue to Ann Street. I-95 north from Ann Street to the Allegheny Avenue off-ramp also has been widened, rebuilt and redecked. Crews are constructing parapets and installing interchange lighting along this section as conditions permit.

South of Girard Avenue to Palmer Street, crews will continue setting steel beams, pans and rebars as they prepare the lower half of the viaduct for concrete deck placement to resume in early spring.

Beams also have been set for a section of the new northbound off-ramp. The new exit ramp will cross over Delaware Avenue and descend to a new intersection with Richmond Street and Delaware Avenue that is under construction between Girard Avenue and Aramingo Avenue. Steel already is in place for the new on-ramp to I-95 north (left). The ramp’s concrete deck will be placed later this year.

Once the new northbound Girard Avenue off-ramp from I-95 north is finished and in use at the new interchange in 2017, the existing northbound off-ramp (Exit 23) will be removed and construction to rebuild and widen Delaware Avenue will then be completed.

The old on-ramp to I-95 north remains closed and detoured north on Richmond Street to a temporary detour road that PennDOT built alongside I-95 north between Cambria Street and Allegheny Avenue. The detour takes motorists east on Allegheny, north on N. Delaware Avenue, and west on Castor Avenue to the on-ramp to I-95 north.

Widening and other improvements remain under construction along Delaware Avenue from Columbia Avenue to where the new interchange ramps will be accessed at a new signalized intersection with Richmond Street just south of Girard Avenue.

Some of the paving and new lane configurations are in place for the new intersection along Richmond Street, Delaware Avenue and Aramingo Avenue (below).  The remainder of paving and other improvements to Delaware Avenue will be done later this year at the completion of the sanitary sewer line installation. Crews will continue installation of a sanitary sewer down the center of Delaware Avenue this winter.

In areas where viaduct construction crosses over surface streets in the vicinity of the Interchange, motorists are encountering periodic street closures, detours, and stoppages for a variety of construction operations.


Finished Construction
Under an earlier stage of the current contract to replace the northbound viaduct, Richmond Street was relocated to the east, widened and reconstructed from Ann Street to where the new intersection with Delaware Avenue and the northbound interchange ramp is under construction. The improvements to Richmond Street also included replacement of the old Conrail overpass between Lehigh Avenue and Somerset Street with three new bridges.

A new sanitary sewer collection system (sewer interceptor) also was installed at Richmond Street and Somerset Street as part of the Richmond Street improvements.

Construction wrapped up in late 2015 at the southern end of the I-95 Girard Avenue Interchange, where crews finished rebuilding and widening 1,200 feet of I-95 between Palmer Street and Frankford Avenue to four lanes in each direction.

As part of the I-95 improvements between Palmer Street and Frankford Avenue, noise walls were installed and I-95 bridges over Columbia Avenue, Marlborough Street and Shackamaxon Street were replaced. The new bridges have decorative walls and LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting. Special landscaped areas also were planted along Richmond Street adjacent to I-95. These quality of life enhancements were the result of interactions between PennDOT and community groups represented on the I-95 Sustainable Actions Committee (SAC).

PennDOT's $42.9 million project to rebuild the 1,200 feet of I-95 south of the Girard Avenue Interchange and replace the bridges over Shackamaxon Street, Marlborough Street and Columbia Avenue won the 2015 Project-of-the-Year awards from the Delaware Valley Section of the American Society of Highway Engineers.

Following reconstruction of the northbound side of I-95 in 2018, the next construction contract will rebuild the southbound side of I-95, including the southbound viaduct, between Allegheny Avenue and Palmer Street.  Reconstruction and widening of the southbound side of I-95 is scheduled to begin in 2018, with demolition of the southbound viaduct between Ann and Palmer streets anticipated to begin in 2019.

Two additional contracts slated for construction after 2020 will rebuild the northbound and southbound I-95 viaducts between Frankford Avenue and Race Street, near the I-676 Interchange.