May 2017 – Construction activities at the Interstate 95 Cottman Avenue (Route 73) Interchange in Northeast Philadelphia continue this spring with improvements to surface streets in the vicinity of the interchange, including sidewalk construction and installation of lighting under seven I-95 bridges.
The work at Cottman Avenue is begin done under the final stages of PennDOT’s $212 million project to improve the interchange and rebuild and widen 1.4 miles of I-95 between Rhawn Street and Levick Street. At the time of its letting in 2012, the $212,325,000 contract was the largest single construction contract in PennDOT history.
When mainline reconstruction and widening finished late last year, providing motorists with four through lanes in each direction between the Academy Road and Bridge Street interchanges (above), work activities shifted to completing the project’s remaining street-level improvements.
Among the improvements that will continue until later this year under the new I-95 bridges that were built during mainline construction are sidewalk and curb construction, installation of LED (light emitting diode) overhead lights, placement of paver blocks to stabilize abutment wall embankments (left), and painting the abutment walls.
The new bridges over Bleigh Avenue, Cottman Avenue, Princeton Avenue, New State Road, Longshore Avenue, Unruh Avenue, and Magee Avenue have decorative abutment walls depicting various icons that define the adjacent neighborhoods. The ornamental walls, paver blocks, and LED lighting are part of the quality-of-life enhancements included in the reconstruction project as the result of interaction between PennDOT’s design team and the community through its I-95 Sustainable Action Committee (SAC) during the project’s planning phase. Similar SAC-driven enhancements are being included in all of the remaining projects to reconstruct I-95 between the Cottman Avenue and Girard Avenue interchanges.
Reconstruction of northbound State Road/New State Road from Princeton Avenue and under I-95 to Longshore Street (right) finished in early spring. This allowed crews to place a lane of northbound and southbound traffic onto the rebuilt road and remove the detour of northbound traffic to Milnor Street while the southbound side of New State Road is rebuilt between Princeton Avenue and Longshore Avenue.
When roadwork finishes on State Road/New State Road, road construction shifts to completing the extension of eastbound Princeton Avenue from State Road, under I-95, to Milnor Street. After finishing work on Princeton Avenue, road crews will then begin rebuilding Bleigh Avenue from State Road to the Delaware River later in the year.
Work also continues on the west side of I-95 between Cottman and Princeton avenues to relocate a large water main (left) in the area once occupied by a section of Wissinoming Street. When the bypass water line is installed and functioning, construction will start on a new on-ramp to I-95 south from Cottman Avenue, the final major work item in the reconstruction of the Cottman Avenue (Route 73) Interchange.
The first phase of reconstruction of I-95 at the Cottman Avenue (Route 73) Interchange began in fall 2009, focusing on improvements to Cottman Avenue, Princeton Avenue and State Road in the vicinity of the interchange.
Construction of the current, final phase of the I-95 Cottman Avenue (Route 73) Interchange improvement project started in late 2012.
Walsh Construction Company of Canonsburg, Pa. is the general contractor.