I-76 Viaducts

Chestnut Street Bridge Over the Schuylkill River Closed to All Traffic

The Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia is scheduled to close to all vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycling traffic beginning at 8:00 PM Monday, June 8, for the completion of structural steel repairs, redecking and other improvements, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

PennDOT closed the 63-year-old eastbound connection between University City and Center City to through-vehicles in August 2019 and began repairs to the north side of the span. The south side of the bridge remained open to pedestrians and bicyclists, and for motorists needing access to the parking lot of the 2400 Chestnut office and residential building while a temporary ramp to the lot was constructed. Once the bridge is fully closed, motorists will access the lot via a temporary ramp from 23rd Street and Chestnut Street.

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.

Work on this project will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, special signing, and relevant training. 

Repairs to the bridge are part of PennDOT’s $103.6 million project that also includes rehabilitation of eight other nearby structures, including those carrying Schuylkill Avenue over I-76 between Walnut Street and Chestnut Street, and between Chestnut Street and Market Street. More information is available at www.chestnutstreetbridges.com.

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

PennDOT Resumes Construction Projects May 1

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that in accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s plan for a phased-in reopening of public and private construction, PennDOT highway and bridge construction projects will resume beginning May 1.

“Our decision to pause construction was not made lightly, and we understand the importance of these projects to communities across Pennsylvania and to our industry partners,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Thanks to the swift, decisive actions of the administration and the cooperation of Pennsylvanians, the curve is starting to flatten and we’re now in a position to restart these important improvements to the transportation network.”

On March 17, in response to Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation guidance, PennDOT paused construction projects statewide, except for emergency needs. Since then, PennDOT has progressively continued critical projects addressing landslide repairs, or critical bridge, tunnel and drainage repairs, and work needed to eliminate roadway restrictions that could impede the ability for the movement of life-sustaining goods and services.

PennDOT road and bridge construction projects will restart with limited exceptions based on project-specific factors, including location and feasibility for social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols at the jobsite. Work on all projects will be conducted in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, and relevant training.

The safety plan, as well as a general framework for restarting construction projects, was developed by a PennDOT-led multidisciplinary team with representation from the construction industry and the consulting engineering community, as well as the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

“I could not be prouder of the collaboration between PennDOT, the Turnpike Commission, FHWA, and our partners in the industry,” Gramian said. “While we are all eager to return to work, it was critical to establish safety protocols to minimize COVID-19 exposure for PennDOT and private-sector employees, as well as the communities where they live and work.”

Information on PennDOT construction projects can be found at projects.PennDOT.gov. PennDOT is currently evaluating schedule impacts due to COVID-19.

More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information on PennDOT’s COVID-19 response, visit www.PennDOT.gov or www.dmv.pa.gov. PennDOT is sharing stories of continued and innovative operations during COVID-19, accessible from its PennDOT Way blog at www.PennDOT.gov/blog.