July 20, 2020 – Construction resumed in late April following a six-week shutdown due to the COVID-19 virus on the replacement of the southbound Interstate 95 viaduct between Palmer Street in Fishtown and Ann Street in Port Richmond and other improvements at the Girard Avenue Interchange.
For the foreseeable future, work on this 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 that includes social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, and other measures designed to minimize the risk of infection to construction workers, inspectors, and managers.
With demolition of the old viaduct and southbound off-ramp substantially completed, several crews are active across the mile-long work area, where they are erecting support piers, and setting beams section-by-section. The new southbound viaduct is expected to be completed by fall 2021.
Large sections of the new concrete deck, which will serve as the new southbound lanes when the current project finishes, are in place at the southern third of the structure and under construction on other sections of the viaduct.
Crews also have started construction of foundations and support piers for the interchange’s new southbound off-ramp. Placement of beams and steel for the ramp’s deck are expected to get underway late this year.
With the southbound off-ramp closed during construction, southbound I-95 motorists heading for Girard Avenue are being directed to exit at Allegheny Avenue. Southbound motorists are then detoured along Allen Street — a temporary stretch of road that PennDOT built alongside northbound I-95 between Cambria Street and Allegheny Avenue — back to the Girard Avenue Interchange area.
The west side of the new bridge that carries southbound Aramingo Avenue over Girard Avenue to the southbound I-95 on-ramp and to Delaware continues to be built, and sections of the deck for the new southbound on-ramp are in place. The southbound I-95 on-ramp remains open during most of the reconstruction at the interchange.
Related construction to widen Aramingo Avenue approaching the bridge and ramp beginning at York Street is ongoing, as is installation of the project’s stormwater management system of pipes and inlets across the work area.
At the northern end of the GR4 project, pavement reconstruction is underway on the at-grade section of southbound I-95 from just south of the Allegheny Avenue Interchange to the start of the viaduct at Ann Street. This new pavement eventually will connect with the concrete pavement on the viaduct and ramp.
Construction of the new southbound viaduct is expected to continue through 2021. The new structure will provide four southbound through lanes as well as a continuous on-off lane that will run between the Allegheny Avenue on-ramp and the Aramingo Avenue on-ramp at the Girard Avenue Interchange.
During the later stages of construction on the GR4 contract, noise barrier walls will be erected atop parapets on southbound I-95 from Indiana Avenue to Palmer Street and along the on-ramp from Aramingo Avenue to southbound I-95.
The GR4 contract also includes installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) components that are currently under construction at various locations across the region (on I-95, U.S. 1, and U.S. 322) that will assist PennDOT and the City of Philadelphia with traffic and incident management on the region’s highways.
New sidewalks have been built on Aramingo Avenue between York and Cumberland streets; pedestrian-friendly LED lighting will be installed under sections of the new southbound and northbound viaducts; a section of multi-use trail will be built beneath and adjacent to the interstate; thematic form liners are being used to decorate wall surfaces on the viaduct’s abutments; and a park with expansive stormwater management features will be constructed within the interchange and beneath I-95.
The new and improved southbound I-95 will connect to a 1,200-foot segment of I-95 south of the interchange that was reconstructed under the GR2 contract. Northbound I-95 between the Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue interchanges, including a new northbound viaduct, was reconstructed under the GR3 contract that finished in 2017.