I-76 Viaducts

PennDOT Highlights 2021 Philadelphia Region Construction Season, Highlights More than 200 Projects

MOTORISTS REMINDED TO DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY IN WORK ZONES

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today highlighted more than 200 highway and bridge projects anticipated to begin or continue across PennDOT’s five-county District 6 region, spanning Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, during this construction season.

PennDOT, AAA Mid-Atlantic, and the Philadelphia Police also urged motorists to drive cautiously in work zones – for their safety and that of workers – in observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week that runs from April 26-30.

Today’s announcement which highlighted more than $2.4 billion in transportation investments throughout the region this construction season, and includes resurfacing nearly 200 miles of highways and fixing or replacing 45 bridges, was made at the PennDOT Interstate 95 North stockpile in Philadelphia overlooking the I-95/Betsy Ross Bridge ramp construction.

“It is vital that we continue to invest in our aging infrastructure and we look forward to the continued opportunity to improve, strengthen, and secure our vast transportation network in this region in 2021,” said Acting District 6 Executive Mike Rebert. “As a reminder, motorists should use caution in work zones so our crew members can get home safely each day to their family and friends after completing this critical work.”

Notable projects that are expected to begin this year include:

  • Bristol Road intersection improvement project in Bucks County ($16.3 million estimate);
  • Boot Road bridge replacement in Chester County ($8.2 million estimate);
  • Little Washington Road bridge replacement in Chester County ($3.5 million estimate);
  • Bethel Road roundabout project in Delaware County ($1.2 million estimate);
  • Route 309 connector project in Montgomery County ($35 million estimate);
  • U.S. 422 improvement project in Montgomery County ($77 million estimate);
  • University Avenue bridge replacement/Schuylkill River Trail project in Philadelphia ($48.5 million estimate); and
  • Interstate 95 ITS enhancement project in Philadelphia ($33.7 million estimate).

Notable projects that will continue this year include:

  • Two U.S. 1 corridor improvement projects in Bucks County ($207.1 million);
  • Route 309 pavement preservation project in Bucks County ($54.3 million);
  • U.S. 30 ITS enhancement project in Chester County ($8.1 million);
  • Interstate 95 pavement preservation project in Delaware County ($69.1 million);
  • Three U.S. 202 widening, improvement projects in Montgomery County ($151.2 million);
  • U.S. 1 Wayne Junction Viaduct rehabilitation project in Philadelphia ($92 million);
  • Chestnut Street bridges rehabilitation project in Philadelphia ($103.3 million); and
  • Three mainline Interstate 95 reconstruction projects in Philadelphia ($ 489.3 million).

More information on PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects is available at www.projects.penndot.gov. PennDOT District 6 oversees and maintains 3,553 state highway miles and 2,760 bridges. To see all that District 6 has accomplished and continues to do visit  www.penndot.gov/D6Results

As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers.

While construction and maintenance workers are on roadways to better the public’s quality of life, PennDOT and safety partners urged motorists to help keep workers and themselves safe by obeying speed limits and avoiding distracted driving.

In 2020, there were 1,412 work zone crashes, statewide, resulting in 15 fatalities. Since 1970, 89 PennDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty statewide.

PennDOT, in partnership with The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Pennsylvania State Police, enacted the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program where cameras were deployed in active work zones in March 2020. Locations are posted on WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov. The program aims to reduce work zone speeds, change driver behavior, and improve work zone safety for workers and motorists. Results have shown that vehicles traveling over the posted work zone speed limit has seen a 16.6 percent reduction since AWSZE began last March.

If you encounter our work zones, please keep the following tips in mind for your safety and the safety of highway workers:

  • Drive the posted work-zone speed limit;
  • Avoid distractions, stay off your phone, and give your full attention to the road;
  • Stay alert and pay close attention to signs and flaggers;
  • Turn on your headlights if signs instruct you to do so;
  • Maintain a safe distance around vehicles. Don’t tailgate;
  • Always buckle up;
  • Traffic patterns can change rapidly;
  • When approaching lane closures, move into the open lane as soon as possible;
  • If driving a large truck or bus, remember you have limited maneuverability, so proceed with caution; and
  • Slow down.

To learn more about work zone safety and other PennDOT safety initiatives, visit PennDOT.gov/Safety.

Construction Update: Spring 2021

Construction on Center City Viaduct Substantially Completed

Construction to rehabilitate the Interstate 76 viaduct between University Avenue and 30th Street has been substantially completed with structural repairs finished, a new riding surface placed, and a new median barrier installed on the mile-long Center City structure.

Rebars in place prior to placing concrete for the new median barrier.

Off-peak and weekend lane restrictions and full closures in one direction will take place periodically through the spring as the contractor completes pavement grinding, installs rumble strips, plowable lane markers and new pavement markings, and finishes other post-construction “punch list” items to wrap up the two-plus years of construction on the $39.8 million project.

The new median barrier in place near the South Street exit.

Since starting repairs in spring 2019, PennDOT has rehabilitated the support columns beneath the viaduct, cleaned and refurbished the viaduct’s stormwater drainage system, repaired the concrete deck’s expansion dams and parapets, milled and repaved the viaduct’s riding surface, and installed a new concrete median barrier.

For the new riding surface, PennDOT used a fast-curing synthetic polyester polymer concrete (PPC) (see right) that allowed the viaduct’s surface to be rehabilitated while minimizing the need for long-term lane closures normally required for conventional concrete paving materials.

In addition, PennDOT’s contractor rehabilitated the bridge that carries the Schuylkill Expressway over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County, and completed similar repairs to several other I-76 bridges in Montgomery County.

Federal REAL ID Enforcement Begins Oct. 1, 2021

​PennDOT has surpassed 1 million optional REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses, ID cards

With only six months left until the federal enforcement of REAL ID begins for commercial domestic air travel and other federal purposes, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding Pennsylvania residents who want a REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards to gather their needed documents as soon as possible to ensure they leave plenty of time to get their REAL ID before the federal enforcement date. 

To date PennDOT has issued approximately 1.1 million REAL ID products. 

REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic flight or entering a federal building that requires federally acceptable ID upon entry. A federally acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used for these purposes on and after October 1, 2021. 

There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

“Although October may seem far away right now, we encourage our customers who want a REAL ID to get one as soon as possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We continue to focus on providing the best possible customer service to all of our customers as the federal deadline approaches.”

Based on data from other states offering an optional REAL ID program, PennDOT projected that 1.3 million of its customers would get a REAL ID prior to the federal deadline of October 1, 2021. Having crossed the threshold of issuing 1 million REAL ID-compliant products in December 2020, PennDOT is well-positioned to reach this target by the federal enforcement deadline.

Since March 1, 2019, PennDOT has processed about 5.4 million customers, with more than 1.1 million individuals choosing to opt into the REAL ID program. The remaining 4.3 million have chosen not to participate or use an alternative federally acceptable form of ID come the October deadline. 

PennDOT paused REAL ID issuance in March 2020 due to COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health and resumed issuing REAL IDs in September 2020.

Additionally, the federal Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration. 

“We want to do everything we can to encourage residents interested in applying for a REAL ID to start the process now and be aware of all the proper documentation needed,” said Gramian. “This will help ensure our customers have their REAL ID well in advance of the October 1, 2021 deadline.”

Customers can obtain a REAL ID by presenting documents for verification and processing at any driver license center. Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the below documents:

  • Proof of Identity: Examples include original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics with a raised seal/embossed or valid, unexpired, U.S. Passport;
  • Proof of Social Security Number: Social security card, in current legal name;
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address: Examples include a current, unexpired PA driver’s license or identification card, vehicle registration or a utility bill with the same name and address; and  
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (if current legal name is different than what is reflected on proof of identity document): Examples include a certified marriage certificate(s) issued by the County Court for each marriage, court order(s) approving a change in legal name or amended birth certificate issued by the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics. If current name is the same as what is reflected on proof of identity document (usually birth certificate or passport), a customer does not need to show proof of legal name changes.

Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: Customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; they can visit any PennDOT driver license center that is open for driver license services, have their documents verified and imaged, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; or they can visit one of 13 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over the counter at the time of service.

For a full list of driver license centers and their services, please visit the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov

When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus the applicable renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license, and $31.50 for a photo ID). The expiration date of their initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on their existing non-REAL ID product, plus an additional four years, unless the customer is over 65 and has a two-year license. This expiration date structure means that the customer won’t “lose” time that they’ve already paid for. After the initial REAL ID product expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID product.

REAL ID-compliant products are marked with a gold star in the upper right corner, standard-issue (non-compliant) products include the phrase “NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES,” per federal regulations. Sample images can be viewed on PennDOT’s website.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at www.penndot.gov/REALID