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News Release

PennDOT Opens Bids to Replace Seven I-676 Overpasses in Center City

Dec 12, 2014
PennDOT Opens Construction Bids to Replace Seven Deteriorating Bridges over Interstate 676 in Philadelphia

Transportation Improvement Plan Includes Street-Level Enhancements

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that it received an apparent low bid of $64,836,180 for the replacement of seven structurally deficient bridges over Interstate 676 and for streetscape improvements above the expressway in Philadelphia.

“We look forward to starting construction in early 2015 to build new structures over I-676 from 22nd to 18th streets to provide motorists and pedestrians with decades of safe, uninterrupted travel,” said PennDOT District Executive Lester C. Toaso. “This infrastructure improvement project also includes enhancements above I-676 to make the surrounding area more pedestrian friendly and aesthetically pleasing.”

Buckley & Company, Inc. of Philadelphia submitted the apparent low bid. The bid was one of four PennDOT received for this contract. The apparent low bid must now undergo a thorough evaluation to ensure that it conforms to all federal and state specifications prior to awarding the contract.  

PennDOT’s contractor will replace the two-span structures carrying 22nd Street, 21st Street, Benjamin Franklin Parkway/20th Street, 19th Street, 18th Street, and the Free Library and Family Court pedestrian bridges over I-676 with single-span bridges. The contractor also will remove bridge piers from the median of I-676 and pave this section of the highway.

The seven bridges above I-676 date back to the late 1950s. Five bridges are owned by the City of Philadelphia and two by the state.

In addition, streetscape improvements will be made above I-676, including the expansion of Shakespeare Park; the realignment of Winter Street at its intersection with Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 20th Street; new sidewalks and pedestrian bump-outs along parts of Vine Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway; new landscaping at the Free Library pedestrian bridge, Shakespeare Park, Family Court pedestrian bridge, 18th Street bridge and 19th street bridge; new street lights; new curb ramps; and the resurfacing of I-676 within the project limits.

The project will be built in two major stages over the course of 4 ½ years to minimize traffic impacts. Construction is scheduled to start in February 2015 and finish in fall 2019.

Stage one construction will focus on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway/20th Street, 19th Street and the two pedestrian structures over I-676. Stage two includes the 22nd Street, 21st Street and 18th street bridges. 

During construction, the 19th Street, 18th Street, Free Library and Family Court bridges will be closed and detoured. The remaining structures will be rebuilt under traffic.  

Motorists traveling on I-676 will encounter overnight lane closures during construction, plus complete overnight closures of the highway for certain operations, such as bridge demolition and bridge beam placement.  

Construction on the project will be suspended in early September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families. Work will restart Oct. 1, 2015.

The construction phase of the project is financed with 100 percent federal funds. The preliminary engineering, final design and other pre-construction costs totaling $9.1 million were funded with federal and state dollars.