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To address the unavoidable and ongoing deterioration of Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania, PennDOT is in the midst of a long-term program to rebuild the aging and heavily-used interstate. While widening and rebuilding I-95 between the Cottman Avenue and Bridge Street interchanges in Philadelphia finished in 2017, reconstruction and widening between Bridge Street and Interstate 676, including interchanges at Bridge Street, Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue, Allegheny Avenue, and Girard Avenue will continue into 2025 and beyond.
Sound Level Analysis studies will be conducted for each of the separate projects that comprise the reconstruction of I-95 to determine the existing level of noise emanating from traffic on the interstate. These existing sound levels are then included in models that project sound levels after the improvements are built. The results of those studies are then used to determine which, if any, specific locations along the interstate meet the criteria for noise mitigation.
The proposed noise barriers that will be constructed along I-95 south of Indiana Avenue are part of the Girard Avenue project (I-95/GIR). For those living north of Indiana Avenue, improvements to I-95, including installation of noise barriers, will be included in a different I-95 project, I-95 AFC. Proposed noise barriers will be constructed along this section of I-95 if a majority of property owners in the Noise Sensitive Area (NSA) for I-95/AFC, which extends from Indiana Avenue north to Butler Street, vote in favor of having them installed. If you are a property owner within the NSA, you will be asked to vote on the matter. Meetings will be held in the community in 2019 to discuss proposed noise barriers and vote on whether or not to install noise barriers and the type of finish those noise barriers will have. Those meetings will be announced in the community and on this website.
Information on the I-95/AFC project is available here.
If the increase in expected sound levels meets certain pre-determined criteria, noise abatement measures, such as sound barrier walls, will be considered warranted for each study area. Potential walls are then put through further evaluation to determine if it is feasible to build them at a reasonable cost. In the end, however, it is the residents within the formal noise study areas who have the final say in whether walls that are warranted, feasible and reasonable are actually built. Please see PennDOT’s Noise Abatement Brochure for details of this process.
During public outreach for the I-95 improvement projects, a number of people voiced concerns over the condition of Richmond Street between Ann and Westmoreland streets. PennDOT has since agreed to undertake improvements to Richmond Street between Ann and Westmoreland streets. In order to provide wider travel lanes and parking lanes, the sidewalks are proposed to be reduced in width by 2 feet (from 13 feet to 11 feet) on both sides of Richmond Street from Ann Street to Allegheny Avenue.
PennDOT held a special purpose meeting about proposed Richmond Street improvements in February 2015. The meeting included discussions regarding the 2-foot reduction of the sidewalk. PennDOT invited 170 citizens to the meeting, including property and business owners on Richmond Street between Ann Street and Allegheny Avenue, as well as local legislators and community group leaders. Approximately 64 people attended, and out of those 64 who attended, 27 people completed the Questionnaire/Comment sheets. The Questionnaire/Comment sheets allowed people to vote on whether they were in favor of the proposed improvements along Richmond Street from Ann Street to Allegheny Avenue. Of the 27 Questionnaire/Comment Sheets received, 24 were in favor of the improvements on Richmond Street as proposed. Based on this response, PennDOT decided to proceed with the project.
During construction of the Richmond Street Improvement Project, PennDOT will create temporary parking spaces on Melvale Street. In addition, work on Richmond Street will take place in block-to-block phases in order to preserve as much parking as possible during construction.
Access to businesses will be maintained at all times during construction.
Sharrows (shared-lane markings) may be installed on Ann Street, Salmon Street, Cambria Street, and Edgemont Street as part of this project. It is not desirable to have bike lanes on Richmond Street since it is narrow and will have trolley tracks.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines sustainability as a blend of policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Read more about sustainable actions from the EPA here.
The sustainable actions for the I-95/GIR project are those that improve neighborhood life and enhance environmental resources. They include:
PennDOT will complete the reconstruction in stages that are designed to minimize impacts to motorists. For work on the main line of I-95, a minimum of three lanes will remain open in each direction during peak travel times and many on-off ramps will remain in service. Construction may require street closures, local detours and parking restrictions at times on surface roads in the vicinity of the interchanges.
If your home or business lies in the path of construction, you likely already have been contacted by PennDOT or one of its authorized representatives. Whatever the case, owners are always fairly compensated by the Commonwealth for property that is needed for infrastructure improvements. For more information, check out PennDOT’s brochure regarding the property acquisition process.
PennDOT’s basic goal in the development of these projects is to remain as transparent as possible when it comes to sharing details with the communities that are affected by the changes. While the engineering details are worked out by those best trained to perform these tasks, we will always provide the public with as much information as possible about the work we are doing in as timely a manner as possible. We will post this information on this website, publish it in our project newsletter, I-95 Interchanges, and generally remain available to answer everyone’s questions as thoroughly as possible.
You may contact us at any time with specific questions or concerns, or to request that a representative appears at a meeting of community groups or organizations in the project area. Contact us via e-mail at email@example.com, by phone on the Construction Helpline at 215-513-1399, or via regular mail at PennDOT Engineering District 6-0, 7000 Geerdes Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19124, Attn: I-95 Project Manager.
If you encounter potholes and other maintenance concerns at any time on Pennsylvania’s roadways, simply call PennDOT’s toll-free Roadway Maintenance Hotline, 800-FIX-ROAD, to report the problem and its location. We’ll take it from there.
PennDOT installed color detour signs along Interstates 76, 95, 476 and 676 in the region and across the Commonwealth to help police, emergency crews, and PennDOT personnel handle traffic diversions more efficiently and safely in the event of an emergency on the interstate.
PennDOT has installed more than 400 of the signs in Southeastern Pennsylvania since December 2007. The signs enable detour routes to be implemented at a moment’s notice to direct traffic around an incident and then return it safely onto the interstate. In the event of such an emergency, interstate traffic will be advised to follow a particular colored detour sign. PennDOT message boards and media reports will inform motorists of which color detour to take. The signing upgrades and investment in technology are part of PennDOT’s multi-million dollar plan to improve traffic management in the five-county Philadelphia region.
During Final Design, if noise walls are determined to meet the necessary criteria, PennDOT will solicit the viewpoints of benefited property owners/residents via poll. If the votes tallied are 50% or greater in favor of the proposed noise barrier, PennDOT will include them in the AFC project. PennDOT already has conducted a preliminary noise analysis for that project, and the preliminary results indicate that noise walls are warranted, feasible and reasonable along southbound I-95 between Indiana Avenue and Butler Street; along northbound I-95 between Allegheny Avenue and Westmoreland Street; and from Wheatsheaf Lane to approximately Luzerne Street. PennDOT will begin conducting noise wall meetings with affected communities in 2019.
Click to view AFC Potential Noise Wall Locations.