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News Release

PennDOT to Rebuild Seven Bridges Over I-676

Apr 07, 2015

PennDOT to Start $64.8 Million Project to Rebuild Seven Structurally Deficient Bridges over Interstate 676 in Philadelphia

I-676 Early Morning Closures the Week of April 13

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that construction will start early Tuesday morning, April 14, on a four-year, $64.8 million project to replace seven structurally deficient bridges over Interstate 676, and make landscaping and streetscape improvements above the expressway in Philadelphia.

“We are eager to start this critical project to rebuild these aging bridges and enhance areas above the Vine Expressway in the Logan Square neighborhood,” said Christine Reilly, PennDOT’s acting district executive.

PennDOT’s contractor will replace the deteriorating two-span bridges 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 structures. The contractor also will remove support piers from the median of I-676, pave this section of the expressway, and improve areas above I-676 to make them more pedestrian friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

Crews are scheduled to work on I-676 during the early morning hours from Tuesday, April 14, through Saturday, April 17, to paint new pavement markings and shift the three eastbound and westbound travel lanes toward the median between 17th Street and 22nd Street. In addition, the contractor will install concrete barriers to close the outside shoulders to establish seven-foot wide protected work zones.

Weather permitting, I-676 will be closed and detoured between Interstate 76 and Broad Street (Route 611) from 12:01 AM to 5 AM the week of April 13. The expressway closure schedule is: 

  • Eastbound I-676 closure between I-76 and 16th Street on Tuesday, April 14, and Thursday, April 16, from 12:01 AM to 5:00 AM;
  • Westbound I-676 closure between Broad Street (Route 611) and I-76 on Wednesday, April 15, and Friday, April 17, from 12:01 AM to 5:00 AM; and
  • Possible eastbound or westbound I-676 closure Saturday, April 18, from 12:01 AM to 5:00 AM.

When I-676 west is closed, the following detours will be in place for passenger cars and trucks:

·        To I-76 East and West: Exit I-676 west at Broad Street (Route 611) Interchange; take 15th Street south; right on J.F.K. Boulevard; right on Schuylkill Avenue and follow signs to I-76 east and I-76 west;

·        From 16th Street north of J.F.K. Boulevard: Follow 16th Street north; right at Spring Garden Street; right at 15th Street; right at J.F.K. Boulevard; right on Schuylkill Avenue to ramps to I-76 east and I-76 west; and

·        From 16th Street south of J.F.K. Boulevard: Follow 16th Street north; left at J.F.K. Boulevard; right on Schuylkill Avenue to ramps to I-76 east and I-76 west.

Optional detours for passenger cars during the closure of I-676 west include:

·        To I-76 West: Exit I-676 west at Broad Street (Route 611) Interchange; take 15th Street south; right onto local Vine Street; right on Benjamin Franklin Parkway and follow around Eakins Oval and onto Spring Garden Street to the ramp to I-76 west; and

·        From 16th Street north of J.F.K Boulevard to I-76 West: Follow 16th Street north; left onto local Vine Street; right on Benjamin Franklin Parkway and follow around Eakins Oval and onto Spring Garden Street to the ramp to I-76 west.

When I-676 east is closed, the following detours will be in place:

  • From I-76 east: Exit at 30th Street/Market Street (Exit 345); right at Arch Street; left at 30th Street; left at Market Street; left at 16th Street; right at Vine Street to the ramp to I-676 east;
  • From I-76 west: Exit at 30th Street (Exit 345); take Schuylkill Avenue to Market Street; right at Market Street; left at 16th Street; right at Vine Street to the ramp to I-676 east; and
  • Traveling east on Benjamin Franklin Parkway intending to use the 24th Street on-ramp: Follow Benjamin Franklin Parkway around Logan Square and bear right onto Vine Street east; follow Vine Street to the ramp to I-676 east.  

The first bridge scheduled for demolition and replacement is the Family Court pedestrian structure, which is scheduled to close May 4, 2015. Construction will be suspended in early September for the World Meeting of Families. Work will restart October 1, 2015, and the contractor will also begin construction at that time on the 19th Street, Benjamin Franklin Parkway/20th Street, and Free Library bridges. 

The seven bridges over I-676 will be rebuilt in two major stages to minimize traffic impacts. The project is scheduled to finish in fall 2019.

In stage one, which lasts until late July 2017, the contractor will rebuild the Family Court and Free Library pedestrian bridges, plus the 19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway/20th Street structures. Stage two includes the replacement of the 22nd Street, 21st Street and 18th Street bridges. 

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

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

In addition to the bridge improvements, PennDOT will make extensive streetscape and landscape enhancements above I-676, including the expansion of Shakespeare Park between 20th Street and the Free Library; the realignment of Winter Street at its intersection with Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 20th Street; the installation of 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; and the installation of new street lights, traffic signals, curb ramps, granite and brick pavers, and park benches. 

Buckley & Company, Inc. of Philadelphia is the general contractor on the $64,836,180 project. Construction 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.

The passage of Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation plan, enabled this major infrastructure improvement project to advance to construction in 2015 and be built in one construction contract.

For more information on the I-676 project, visit www.bridgesover676.com Or follow us on Twitter @bridgesover676.

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