I-95 Section AFC (I-95/AFC)
Under I-95/AFC, PennDOT will completely reconstruct and widen 1.5 miles of I-95 and its bridges from just south of the Betsy Ross Bridge Interchange to just south of the Allegheny Avenue ramps. This project includes the existing interchange at Allegheny/Castor Avenue.
I-95/AFC is presently in the Preliminary Engineering stage, where PennDOT’s project team is developing preliminary engineering plans and traffic models and performing required environmental studies.
The project will be completed under four phases of construction:
- Richmond Street Improvements;
- Improvements to Allegheny, Castor and Delaware Avenues
- Northbound I-95 lanes and ramps
- Southbound I-95 lanes and ramps
Construction is projected to start in early 2018 on improvements to Richmond Street between Ann Street and Westmoreland Street. Richmond Street will be widened a total of two-to-four feet from Ann Street to Allegheny Avenue, with the northbound and southbound travel lanes (and possibly the parking lanes), each being widened by one foot. As a result, the reconstructed sidewalks may be two feet narrower on one or both sides of the street. The roadway and SEPTA Route 15 trolley tracks and catenary poles all will be reconstructed from Ann Street to Westmoreland Street. From Ann Street to Allegheny Avenue, new ornamental pedestrian-scale street lighting (or conventional street lights on wooden poles) will be installed and street trees will be planted where possible.
Artist's rendering of Richmond Street improvements
In addition to Richmond Street improvements, the I-95/AFC improvement plan will:
- Reconstruct I-95's existing four lanes in each direction and add a fifth lane each way to serve as a continuous on-off ramp between interchanges;
- Provide direct access from the northbound on-ramp at Castor Avenue to the Betsy Ross Bridge;
- Reconstruct the interchanges at Allegheny Avenue and Castor Avenue;
- Reconstruct/Replace 11 northbound and southbound bridges;
- Improve traffic flow on surrounding streets;
- Examine options to connect the adjacent Monkiewicz Playground;
- Improve Allegheny Avenue, Delaware Avenue and Castor Avenue on the east side of I-95; and
- Implement streetscape improvements on Richmond Street from Ann Street to Allegheny Avenue.
This section includes reconstruction of the highway and the interchanges at Allegheny Avenue and Castor Avenue as well as new access to the Betsy Ross Bridge from the industrial area east of I-95. The configuration of the interchanges will be changed so that the on and off-ramps southbound will stay at Allegheny Avenue but both on and off ramps northbound will be at Castor Avenue, where direct access will be constructed to the Betsy Ross Bridge from the northbound on-ramp.
The section of the highway between Allegheny Avenue and Westmoreland Street, which currently bisects the Monkiewicz playground into two separate areas, will be placed on piers so that it is open underneath and the two halves of the playground will be reconnected. During Final Design for mainline I-95, which will start in Spring 2017, a detailed plan for the use of this space will be developed with input from the community and the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation.
Off-site improvements are proposed as part of the project to improve traffic flow on adjacent streets. These improvements include optimization of traffic signals on major routes, the addition of new turn lanes at certain intersections and restriction of left turns at others, new traffic signals, and improvements to the streets east of I-95 that will serve as the detour route during construction and carry the majority of truck traffic accessing the two halves of the I-95 interchange.