CSP: Penn’s Landing

Summary of Study Challenges

  • Traffic speeds and volumes on Columbus Boulevard impact quality and efficiency of multimodal routes
  • High volume at left turns on Columbus Boulevard at Washington Avenue and I-95 on-ramps often back up into through lanes
  • Maintain/Improve I-95 within existing width and depth of sunken “bathtub” section
  • Address current and future flooding at low elevations, especially within “bathtub” section of I-95 and portions of Columbus Boulevard
  • Consolidate separated interchanges along Columbus Boulevard that are confusing for infrequent travelers
  • Access to I-95 is limited to the east of the highway in South Philadelphia
  • Existing cap at Foglietta Plaza over I-95 restricts I-95 lane configurations

Interchange: Design Concepts

Three different levels of design concepts were developed for the Penn’s Landing Interchange that balance the study’s needs, the extent of potential impacts, and potential costs.

We have defined each design concept as LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH.

Each design concept presents a different solution and potential tradeoffs on the surrounding safety, traffic, connectivity, multimodal services, and socioeconomic, cultural, and natural resources.

Video of Design Concepts

Penn’s Landing Interchange: Low Impact Design Concept

Penn’s Landing Interchange: Medium Impact Design Concept

Penn’s Landing Interchange: High Impact Design Concept

Impacts on Safety and Congestion

Safety Challenges

  • Shoulder Widths: Existing shoulder widths do not conform to modern safety design standards.
  • Merging Lanes: The length of ramp merging lanes does not conform to modern safety design standards. These conditions impact safety in the corridor.

Congestion Challenges

  • Highway Lanes: Traffic analysis indicates that congestion will increase by 2045 along the stretch of I-95 between Christian and Pine Streets where the northbound lanes drop from four to three.
  • Christopher Columbus Boulevard: Traffic analysis indicates that congestion will increase by 2045 on Columbus Boulevard between Lombard and Morris Streets if the locations of the I-95 ramps are left in their current configuration.


Connectivity and Multimodal Services

Connectivity Challenges

  • Distance Between Ramps: The elements of a complete interchange are spread out over 2 miles, forcing Columbus Boulevard to connect all the ramps. There are also two northbound on-ramps to I-95 less than 1000′ apart near Lombard Street confusing users and causing a need to separate traffic merging into northbound I-95.
  • Market Street On-Ramp: Experience high relative volumes due to the lack of nearby southbound on-ramps. The ramp entrance is channelized to eliminate a weave with I-676. Community feedback and the Old City neighborhood plan would like to remove the Market Street on-ramp.

Multimodal Challenges

  • Pedestrian/Bicycle: High volumes of vehicles and left turns onto I-95 ramps create substantial conflicts for pedestrians and bicycles, particularly on the west side of Columbus Boulevard.
  • Transit: Lack of dedicated transit lanes forces transit to share roadway with all vehicles on Columbus Boulevard.

Socioeconomic, Cultural, Natural Resources

Socioeconomic Challenges

  • Waterfront Master Plan: The plan by DRWC and the resulting zoning overlay help guide the growth and development of the waterfront area throughout the interchange area.

Cultural Challenges

  • Historic Resources: Abutting the existing highway are three Historic Districts and the historic Swedes Church just north of Washington Avenue.
  • Foglietta Plaza: The existing cap over I-95 is home to multiple memorials.

Natural Resource Challenges

  • Floodplains/Emergency Management: Land adjacent to the Penn’s Landing Interchange is in the 100-year floodplain and susceptible to flooding during major storm events.