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Construction Update

GR3, GR4 Construction Notes

Apr 19, 2018

Spring 2018

GR3 - Reconstruction of northbound I-95 between the Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue interchanges, including the northbound viaduct between Palmer and Ann streets

GR4 -  Reconstruction of southbound I-95 between the Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue interchanges, including the southbound viaduct between Palmer and Ann streets


What is happening now on the GR3 and GR4 projects?
  • Crews are now setting the last of the structural components and building the pavement for the inside section of the new northbound viaduct between Ann and Palmer streets.
  • GR4 construction activities will begin to ramp up later this spring.

How much longer until work finishes on the northbound viaduct at Girard Ave?
  • Construction to complete the northbound viaduct will continue for much of 2018 under the GR3 contract that began in 2014.
  • When the new viaduct is finished this fall, the contractor will place a construction barrier down the center of the new northbound lane, dividing the structure temporarily into six lanes. Then, three lanes of southbound traffic will be shifted onto the northbound side from Allegheny Avenue through the Girard Interchange.

Will the ramps at Girard Avenue remain open during this year’s GR4 construction?
  • The southbound off-ramp will remain open until fall 2019, when it will be closed for reconstruction.
  • The southbound on-ramp will remain open.
  • Northbound on- and off-ramps at Girard Avenue also will remain open during GR4 construction.

When will the southbound viaduct be demolished?
  • Demolition of the southbound viaduct between Ann and Palmer streets at Girard Avenue (GR4) will begin this fall following completion of the northbound viaduct at Girard Avenue (GR3).
  • Demolition of the southbound viaduct will continue through much of 2019.
  • Demolition crews will cut and remove sections of the old concrete pavement by truck,  dismantle the viaduct’s structural components, and take down its support piers. A new southbound viaduct will then be built in its place.

What will be done on GR4 between now and this fall?
  • This spring, utility work will take place on Aramingo Avenue.
  • In early summer, construction of foundations for some of the piers that will support the new southbound viaduct will get underway.
What is the long-range plan for construction at Girard Avenue?
  • Over the next four years, crews will replace the southbound viaduct, constructing  support piers and eventually setting the steel and concrete beams that will carry four southbound travel lanes and a fifth continuous on-off lane over the Port Richmond and Fishtown neighborhoods between the Allegheny Avenue and Girard Avenue interchanges.
  • New southbound on and off-ramps also will be built.
  • Aramingo Avenue will be reconstructed through the interchange area.

What will be done to control dust during demolition and construction?
Water trucks will be used to control dust.

Will piles be driven during GR4 construction?
  • PennDOT has designed the GR4 project to utilize micropiles in the construction of foundations for some of the support piers for the southbound viaduct where it passes through areas where residences are in close proximity to the interstate.
  • Traditional, hammer-driven piles will be used in most non-residential areas. 
  • Micropiles are essentially drilled into the bedrock subsoil to achieve a solid foundation footing.  Traditional H-beam piles are driven into the subsoil using repeated blows by pile drivers until they hit bedrock.
  • The micropile process is slower but less noisy than that of hammer driven piles.
  • Both types of piles ultimately stabilize the concrete foundations for piers that support the viaduct in the comparatively-soggy subsoil of the Philadelphia waterfront.
How much will GR 4 construction cost?
The construction contract to reconstruct and improve southbound I-95 between Allegheny Avenue and Girard Avenue (GR4) is $312 millione.

What is being done on Delaware Avenue near the Girard Avenue Interchange?
  • Widening and rebuilding Delaware Avenue between Columbia Avenue and Aramingo Avenue is nearing completion.
  • New southbound lanes on Delaware Avenue remain under construction in this area.
  • Traffic will be shifted onto the new lanes later this spring.
  • PennDOT is improving this section of Delaware Avenue to aid the movement of traffic to and from the new northbound interchange on Richmond Street and the new southbound interchange that will be built during GR4 construction.

What is being done to Aramingo Avenue at the Girard Avenue Interchange?
  • A significant part of the GR4 contract will improving Aramingo Avenue through the interchange area and upgrading the areas adjacent to and beneath I-95.
  • New sidewalks will be built on Aramingo Avenue Avenue between York and Cumberland streets.
  • Aramingo Avenue will be placed on a temporary road through the interchange to continue to provide access between Delaware Avenue and York Street.
Is there more construction coming to the Girard Avenue Interchange
Two additional contracts slated for construction after 2020 — GR5 & GR6 — will rebuild the northbound and southbound I-95 viaducts between Frankford Avenue and Race Street, between the Girard Avenue and I-676 Interchange.