October 23, 2023 – Construction of the new replacement bridge over the exit ramp at the Interstate 95 Cottman Avenue Interchange reaches a significant milestone this fall as crews finish placement of the concrete decks and parapets (see below) on the outer sections and shift operations before the end of the year to build the middle section of the bridge that was destroyed in a June 11 tanker truck crash.
Following completion of the outer sections of the new bridge, expected by the Thanksgiving holiday, three lanes of traffic in each direction through the interchange will shift to the rebuilt outer halves of the new structure. Work will then get underway to build the middle portion of the new overpass to complete in record time the job that was fast-tracked by Gov. Josh Shapiro in response to the fire that closed I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia for almost two weeks in late spring.
Workers will remove and store for future use the ultra-light foamed glass aggregate that was used to create a temporary, six-lane roadway during construction of the outer sections of the bridge. The fire-damaged abutments will then be repaired, new beams will be set, and the new center-section concrete bridge deck will be built. The entire replacement structure is expected to be in place in 2024.
Meanwhile, construction also continues through next spring (2024) on the new Cottman Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-95 — immediately adjacent to the replacement bridge — under PennDOT’s $52.7 million I-95/CP3 project.
Crews working on the Section CP3 project have relocated a sewer main that runs parallel to southbound I-95 and are now building a retaining wall that will support the new ramp connecting Cottman Avenue to southbound I-95.
Once the new ramp is in place next spring, Wissinoming Street will be rebuilt as a functioning City Street running along southbound I-95 between Cottman and Princeton avenues.
Utility installation and roadway construction continue through this fall on surface streets — State Road, New State Road, Princeton Avenue, Levick Street, and Milnor Street— around the interchange.
During all of the construction at the Cottman Avenue Interchange through next spring there will be periodic off-peak travel restrictions and pedestrian-posted detours on surface streets around and approaching the Cottman Avenue Interchange, including New State Road and its intersections at Magee Avenue and Unruh Street, and State Road and its intersections with Cottman Avenue and Princeton Avenue.
Under two previous construction projects – CP1, completed in 2012, and CP2, completed in 2017 — I-95 was reconstructed and widened to four lanes in each direction between Bleigh Avenue and Levick Street. I-95 bridges over Bleigh Avenue, the Cottman Avenue off-ramp, Princeton Avenue, New State Road, Unruh Avenue, and Magee Avenue also were replaced.
In addition, a new southbound on-ramp was constructed at Longshore Avenue, and a new northbound on-ramp was constructed at Milnor Street to merge with the existing on-ramp from Princeton Avenue. A number of surface streets in the vicinity of the interchange also were improved, including Cottman and Princeton avenues and New State Road.
C. Abbonizio Contractors, Inc. of Sewell, N.J., is the general contractor on the CP3 project. Buckley & Co. of Philadelphia is replacing the damaged bridge under an emergency contract.