January 18, 2024 – Construction through early 2024 at the Interstate 95 Bridge Street Interchange will complete the retaining wall on Tacony Street along the northbound side of I-95 (see below) and much of the street-level utility work on surface streets surrounding the interchange.
The wall along Tacony Street north of Bridge Street remains under construction. That wall, along with the completed northbound retaining wall that was built in place of the off-ramp that was closed earlier in 2023 at the southern end of the project, will support northbound embankments and temporary paving through the BS2 work zone that stretches from Margaret Street to Carver Street.
Construction also continues to extend James Street to the north of the Carver Street overpass, which was closed permanently in late 2023. When preparation of the work zone finishes later this winter, northbound and southbound traffic will be shifted to the east for reconstruction of the southbound side of I-95. With the shift, the southbound off-ramp to James Street will be closed permanently. It will be replaced by a new off-ramp that swings left under I-95 to a new signalized interchange complex on Tacony Street north of Bridge Street. A new northbound on-ramp also will be built at this location.
During construction, traffic normally exiting at James Street will detour to the Aramingo Avenue ramp at the adjacent Betsy Ross Bridge Interchange and follow northbound Aramingo Avenue back to Bridge Street.
The temporary traffic pattern will shift three northbound and three southbound through lanes to the east and will remain in place for several years until the southbound reconstruction is completed. The traffic pattern will then shift to the west side of the work area for reconstruction of the opposite side of I-95.
Following the shift early this year, the southbound side of the viaduct over Bridge and Tacony streets will be demolished and replaced. Construction activities for the foundations of the replacement structure (see above) have been underway since mid-2023 in the cleared area along Aramingo Avenue adjacent to the interstate.
The northbound I-95 off-ramp to Bridge Street (Exit 27) was permanently closed in April 2023 for construction of the retaining wall. Off-ramp traffic is now exiting at the Betsy Ross Bridge Interchange and following Aramingo Avenue north back to Bridge Street. The existing northbound on-ramp from Bridge Street will remain open until a later stage of construction.
Section BS2 is the second of five contracts to reconstruct the interstate and improve the interchange at Bridge Street. In addition to replacing the viaduct, Section BS2 will reconstruct I-95 between Margaret Street and Carver Street and replace the bridge over Fraley Street. The Carver Street overpass will be replaced by a new bridge over the new southbound off-ramp that will replace the James Street off-ramp. A new on-ramp to I-95 north will be built at the Tacony Street interchange (see rendering above).
PennDOT completed Section BS1 reconstruction to rebuild and widen the I-95 pavement between Levick Street and Carver Street in early 2023.
During all upcoming work on Section BS2, three travel lanes in each direction will remain open during peak travel times, though periodic off-peak lane closures may be in place on I-95 during certain stages of construction operations. However, several different traffic patterns will be in place on the surface streets at the interchange (Bridge Street, Tacony Street, Aramingo Avenue) during BS2 construction.
Section BS2 is scheduled to be completed in late 2026.
James J. Anderson Construction, of Philadelphia, is the general contractor on Section BS2, which is valued at $268 million.