"This new approach to project planning and development expands the department's requirements for engaging local and planning partners by requiring collaboration with stakeholders before project scopes are developed. PennDOT Connects aims to transform capital and maintenance project development by ensuring that community collaboration happens early, and that each project is considered in a holistic way for opportunities to improve safety, mobility, access, and environmental outcomes for all modes and local contexts." PennDOT Connects Policy Statement
Bicycle and pedestrian connections under and around I-95 are an important consideration in the reconstruction of I-95 at the Betsy Ross Bridge Interchange (BRI). The new Adams Avenue Connector, currently under construction between Torresdale and Aramingo avenues, includes a portion of the Frankford Creek Greenway multi-use trail.
As part of the BSR project, a trail gateway will be constructed at the new intersections of Adams and Aramingo avenues. PennDOT is looking to extend the pedestrian/bicycle connections to the K&T Trail along the Delaware River in later phases of the project. Potential areas for connection include Tacony Street, Bridge Street, and Aramingo Avenue.
Renderings of improvements at Comly & Van Kirk streets (left) and Orthodox Street (right).
During mainline reconstruction at Bridge Street (BS1), the new Comly Street and Van Kirk Street overpasses will have wide sidewalks, custom wall designs, and updated lighting to better allow the community to access areas east of I-95. Similar underpass enhancements have been completed under the Cottman Avenue and Girard Avenue projects.
Orthodox Street is a key connector between the Bridesburg neighborhood, the Delaware River, and the future Bridesburg Riverfront park. As designs progress for the BRI project, the community will help determine whether the new I-95 overpass is built on structure or on fill, which wall treatment option is preferred, and how the space underneath I-95 will be used (as is currently being done for the GIR projects). Bicycle and pedestrian connections to the future Bridesburg Riverfront Park and the Delaware Avenue Trail will also be considered.
The full list of potential or completed neighborhood improvements appears below. Click a tab to read more about the improvement. Please remember that anything not yet fully designed or under construction is an opportunity for public input.
Levick Street is being improved to include new sidewalks to Lardner’s Point Park, including a connection to the K&T Trail. Extending pedestrian facilities across Barnett Street and the remainder of Levick Street could potentially connect the K&T Trail with the existing sidewalks along the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to New Jersey.
Bridge Street has been identified as a key connector to the Delaware River waterfront and the removal of the I-95 NB on-ramp will bring opportunities to create a safe, efficient connection. Potential upgrades include a “Road Diet” to reduce the number of traffic lanes, traffic calming to slow vehicular speeds, safety and mobility enhancements to the pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and streetscaping measures.
*The term Diet here is used to mean changing Bridge Street in the vicinity of the interchange by narrowing the curb-to-curb width of the road, including possibly reducing the number of lanes, and possibly improving/adding pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
The reconstruction of I-95 and the removal of the I-95 NB on-ramp on Bridge Street will create new areas of open space, presenting opportunities for potential recreational features or other community facilities.
The proposed new I-95 interchange along Tacony Street with the relocated I-95 SB off-ramp and the new I-95 NB on-ramp will present an opportunity for upgrades to the K&T Trail Spur from Tacony Street to the K&T Trail along the waterfront.
A potential sidepath along Tacony Street is being examined and could consist of a separated, paved path for bicycles and pedestrians from Aramingo Avenue to Van Kirk Street. This path would expand the local bicycle and pedestrian network, connecting existing and potential facilities along Aramingo Avenue with Bridge Street, the K&T Trail Spur, and the Wissinoming Neighborhood.
Retaining walls along Aramingo Avenue will be designed during BR3 and BR4 to be more aesthetically pleasing. They may include simple decorative textures to soften the visual impact or landscaping of embankments. Unobtrusive fencing may be added for safety. Coordination with the community will take place in the design of the walls.
Removal of Ramp K during BR4 will result in the creation of open space on the berm beside Aramingo Avenue between Bermuda Street and Buckius Street. The new public space will be designed in coordination with the community to minimize the visual impact of the highway and serve community needs.
A PennDOT owned triangle of land located at the corner of Thompson and Juniata streets provides an opportunity to provide additional landscaping and screening to a vacant lot abutting highway right-of-way. The vacant lot has received an interim of solution treatment of additional landscaping during BR0 to better screen the elevated highway ramps and maintenance yard behind the lot. The lot will then be used as a construction staging area during BR3, after which time a permanent landscaping and screening plan will be implemented with neighborhood input.
Demolition of Ramp K during BR4 will require temporary removal of the American Legion Memorial Site and monument currently located below the structure at Milnor Street and Aramingo Avenue. Coordination will occur with the American Legion to discuss monument removal, storage, and potential relocation.
There is an opportunity to explore new sidewalks, lighting, and aesthetic wall treatments to improve the pedestrian conditions under the highway at the Orthodox Street underpass and create a gateway into the Bridesburg neighborhood. Coordination will occur with SEPTA to discuss potential improvements to or relocation of the Routes 25 and J bus stop currently located at the underpass.
Alternative Design 1:
Alternative Design 2:
There is an opportunity to explore new sidewalks, lighting and aesthetic wall treatments to improve the pedestrian conditions under the highway at the Richmond Street Bridge underpass when it is replaced. This will also provide an opportunity to create an inviting gateway into the Bridesburg neighborhood.
BSR/BRI Green Initiatives