I-76 Viaducts

Chestnut Street Bridge Over the Schuylkill River Closed for One Year of Construction in Center City

The Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia was closed August 5 for a year of construction to repair and redeck the 62-year-old eastbound connection between University City and Center City, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

Chestnut Street is closed to vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians between Schuylkill Avenue near 30th Street on the west side of the river and 23rd Street on the east side. Access from Chestnut Street to the Schuylkill River Trail along the east bank of the river also will close.

During the closure, motorists and cyclists heading east from West Philadelphia will be detoured north on either 38th Street, 36th Street or 33rd Street to east on Market Street, then across the river to 23rd Street.

Chestnut Street motorists in the vicinity of 30th Street also may turn left on Schuylkill Avenue to access either eastbound Market Street or John F. Kennedy Boulevard across the river to Center City.

An alternate detour for cyclists will be to take 38th Street or 34th Street south, turn left on Spruce Street, then east on South Street across the river to 22nd Street.

Pedestrians will be detoured to either the Market Street or Walnut Street bridges over the river.

Motorists are advised to use an alternate route or allow additional time for travel on I-76 near the work area because backups and delays will occur. All scheduled closures are subject to change depending on weather conditions.

PennDOT is rehabilitating the Chestnut Street bridge under a $103.6 million project that also includes the rehabilitation of seven other nearby structures, including two Schuylkill Avenue viaducts over I-76 between Market Street and Walnut Street; the viaduct under Chestnut Street between 30th and 31st streets; the I-76 west ramp to Chestnut Street; the Walnut Street ramp to I-76 east; and the Chestnut Street stone arch bridges over 24th Street and over the CSX rail line west of 24th Street. The contract also includes repairs to a 900-foot section of the “river wall” retaining wall between the river and I-76, and to a retaining wall between the Schuylkill River Trail and the river at Chestnut Street.

Work on the two ramps has been completed. Construction will continue on the remaining five bridges and retaining walls through 2020.

In addition to repairing and repainting the steel superstructure and replacing the deck, improvements to the Chestnut Street Bridge also include:

  • Construction of wider sidewalks;
  • Installation of decorative barrier and railings;
  • Replacement of millennium lighting on Chestnut Street over the Schuylkill River;
  • Construction of a new trellis at the Chestnut Street Trailhead to the Schuylkill River Trail; and
  • Creation of a dedicated bicycle lane on the north side of Chestnut Street between 34th Street and 22nd Street.

The Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River, which carries approximately 18,664 vehicles per day is expected to reopen in August 2020. The current bridge was built in 1957, replacing the original iron arch bridge that was built in 1912.

Buckley & Company Inc., of Philadelphia, is the general contractor on the project, which is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds. More information is available at www.chestnutstreetbridges.com.

Motorist Detour

Chestnut Street Bridge motorist detour

Pedestrian Detour

Chestnut Street Bridge pedestrian detour

Cyclist Detour

Chestnut Street Bridge cyclist detour