May 12, 2020 – Roadway, sidewalk, and utility improvements to Richmond Street between Ann Street and Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond have been substantially completed, with crews set to reopen the street to southbound traffic this spring once paving has been completed between Allegheny Avenue and E. Westmoreland Street.
Remaining work on the project will proceed in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, special signage and relevant training.
Contractors have finished reconstructing the roadway, upgrading utilities, installing new trolley rail lines, building new sidewalks, curbs, and ADA ramps, and installing new traffic signals, streetlights, and catenary poles for SEPTA trolleys.
Installation of overhead catenary wires and underground power for the trolleys will continue through the summer, along with completion of post-construction “punch list” items.
Construction continues at SEPTA’s Westmoreland Loop terminal, which is also being rebuilt under the $32 million AF1 contract. With a new brick perimeter along Emery Street, new platforms for loading and unloading passengers, and new trolley rails in place, continuing work this spring will complete landscaping and paving in front of the terminal. SEPTA will then finish a number of tasks before reopening the terminal. (Check with SEPTA — www.septa.org / (215) 580-7800 — for more details.)
PennDOT will finish planting an estimated 60 new trees along the Richmond Street project area this fall.
Richmond Street construction began in early 2018 with utility installations and relocations in the project area. Over the course of that first year of construction, new gas and water mains were installed and connected to the properties along the Richmond Street corridor, and numerous utility lines and wires have been relocated to accommodate the improvements.
Then in early 2019, crews returned to the southern end of the project and began the next major stage of construction. First, new sidewalks and curbs were built, then the outer edges of Richmond Street were reconstructed. By about mid-year, yet another crew returned to the southern end of the work area and began installing two sets of new trolley rails as part of the reconstruction of the middle section of the roadway under the final major stage of the project.
An additional residential parking area for Richmond Street residents was also installed and is now available on reconstructed Melvale Street, which runs parallel to Richmond Street adjacent to I-95 between Clearfield Avenue and Wishart Street.
Richmond Street improvements, Section AF1, are being completed as the first part of PennDOT’s overall project to reconstruct I-95 at the Allegheny Avenue interchange and improve traffic flow on surface streets in the area of the interchange.
AF1 construction will be followed by a second surface street project, AF2, that will improve sections of Delaware Avenue, Allegheny Avenue, and Castor Avenue. AF2 is tentatively scheduled for construction beginning in 2021.