January 2019 – Utility work along Richmond Street in Port Richmond will continue this winter, setting the stage for reconstruction of the roadway, replacement of the sidewalks and construction of other improvements between Ann Street and E. Westmoreland Street to start this spring.
The project (I-95/Section AF1) includes construction of new concrete sidewalks, curbs, and ADA ramps on both sides of Richmond Street; new traffic signals; replacement of SEPTA’s Route 15 Trolley tracks and catenary poles and wires; and other improvements along the corridor.
Prior to starting work on the curbs, sidewalks and roadway, PennDOT’s contractor will complete installation of the remaining sections of new water main (left), drill foundations for new catenary and light poles, and install the electrical duct-bank for the SEPTA Route 15 trolley in the center of Richmond Street.
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), PECO and other utilities have been upgrading their sub-surface and above ground facilities along Richmond Street — replacing gas and water mains, relocating electric poles and wiring, and installing fiber optic lines – since the start of the project in early 2018.
The roadway/sidewalk/curb work will be completed in three phases: Replacement of the east sidewalk, curb and parking lane; installation of trolley tracks in the center of Richmond Street, which will replace the center section of the roadway; and replacement of the west sidewalk, curb and parking lane.
Work to widen Melvale Street continues to progress (right). The stone embankment slope and underground stormwater retention basins are in place. Grading for the widened roadway and construction of curbing will continue this winter. Paving will be done this spring. Melvale Street, which runs parallel east of Richmond Street between Wishart Street and E. Clearfield Street, is being widened to provide additional parking spaces for residents in the project area.
Construction also continues on improvements to SEPTA’s Westmoreland Loop (below). Crews in late 2018 took down the existing facility. Work this winter will focus on installation of stormwater basins and inlets, construction of the new perimeter wall and fence, and foundations for the facility’s new building and platforms. During construction, which is scheduled to be completed this fall, riders have been relocated to a temporary terminal on Allegheny Avenue near Richmond Street.
During the remainder of construction, Richmond Street is closed to southbound vehicles between E. Westmoreland Street and Ann Street. Richmond Street remains open to local northbound traffic during construction, though short-term closures with localized detours will be in place periodically during weekday work hours for northbound motorists for the duration of construction.
Construction in 2019 will widen Richmond Street by two feet from Ann Street to Allegheny Avenue, with the northbound and southbound travel lanes each being widened by one foot.
The roadway and SEPTA Route 15 trolley tracks and catenary poles all will be reconstructed from Ann Street to Westmoreland Street, and new ornamental pedestrian-scale street lighting (or conventional street lights on wooden poles) will be installed and street trees will be planted where possible.
The improvements are done under PennDOT’s $32 million I-95/AF1 project that will reconstruct and improve Richmond Street between Ann Street and E. Westmoreland Street (I-95/AF1), the first contract in the larger effort to rebuild I-95 between Allegheny Avenue and Frankford Creek (I-95/AFC).