I-76 Viaducts

I-76 Lane Restrictions, Full Closures Sept. 21-27 for Viaduct Repairs, Median Construction in Philadelphia

I-76 West remains one lane between University and 30th Street for remainder of the year

 
Daytime and overnight lane restrictions and full closures will be in place on eastbound and westbound Interstate 76 — including the continuation of an around-the-clock single lane westbound — for construction on two viaducts in Center City Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.
 
Motorists are reminded that westbound Interstate 76 remains reduced to one lane around-the-clock until the end of the year between the University Avenue and 30th Street interchanges in Center City Philadelphia for reconstruction of the median barrier.
 
In addition, the westbound off-ramp to South Street remains closed through the end of the year, and the South Street on-ramp to eastbound I-76 remains closed through late October during median barrier construction in that area.
 
Additional I-76 lane restrictions and ramp closures also scheduled include:

  • Monday, September 21, through Friday, September 25, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to one lane at 7:00 PM, then fully closed intermittently* from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning between the 30th Street and University Avenue interchanges for median barrier reconstruction and overhead viaduct construction. During the closure, eastbound traffic will exit at 30th Street, go around 30th Street Station, turn left on Chestnut Street, then right on Schuylkill Avenue to the Walnut Street ramp back to eastbound I-76. The South Street eastbound off-ramp also will be closed;
  • Monday, September 21, through Friday, September 25, from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, westbound I-76 will be closed intermittently* between the 30th Street and Interstate 676 interchanges for overhead viaduct construction. During the closure, westbound I-76, already reduced to a single lane beginning at University Avenue, will be detoured to the 30th Street off-ramp and follow Schuylkill Avenue back to the Market Street ramp to westbound I-76; and
  • From 7:00 PM Saturday, September 26, to 5:00 AM Sunday, September 27, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to one lane between the 30th Street and University Avenue interchanges for median barrier reconstruction. The South Street eastbound off-ramp also will be closed.

*The scheduled full closures of eastbound and westbound I-76 at 30th Street will not occur at the same time. When one side is closed, the other side will remain in a single-lane pattern through the work area.
 
During the closure of the westbound off-ramp to South Street, motorists will be detoured to the westbound off-ramp at 30th Street and follow the detour signs around 30th Street Station back to South Street.
 
During the closures of the eastbound off-ramp to South Street, eastbound I-76 motorists will be directed to exit at 30th Street and follow the detour signs around 30th Street Station back to South Street. 
  
Repairs to the Schuylkill Avenue viaduct are part of PennDOT’s $103.6 million project to rehabilitate the Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River and eight other nearby structures, including those carrying Schuylkill Avenue over I-76 between Walnut Street and Market Street. More information is available at www.chestnutstreetbridges.com.

I-76 West Reduced to One Lane Until End of Year Beginning 9/14 for Median Barrier Reconstruction in Center City

I-76 West, East also to close overnight at 30th Street

Beginning at 5:00 AM Monday, September 14, westbound Interstate 76 will be reduced to one lane around-the-clock until the end of the year between the University Avenue and 30th Street interchanges in Center City Philadelphia for reconstruction of the median barrier, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today. 

In addition, the westbound off-ramp to South Street will be closed from 5:00 AM Monday, September 14, through the end of the year, and the South Street on-ramp to eastbound I-76 will close at 5:00 AM Monday, September 14, for approximately six weeks during median barrier construction in that area.

Additional I-76 lane restrictions and ramp closures also scheduled include:

  • Monday, September 14, through Friday, September 18, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to one lane at 7:00 PM, then closed completely intermittently* from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning between the 30th Street and University Avenue interchanges for median barrier reconstruction and overhead viaduct painting. Eastbound traffic will exit at 30th Street, follow the detour around 30th Street Station, turn left on Chestnut Street, then right on Schuylkill Avenue to the Walnut Street ramp back to I-76. The South Street eastbound off-ramp also will be closed;
  • Monday, September 14, through Friday, September 18, from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, westbound I-76 will be closed intermittently* between the 30th Street and Interstate 676 interchanges for overhead viaduct construction. During the closure, westbound I-76, already reduced to a single lane beginning at University Avenue, will be detoured to the 30th Street off-ramp and follow Schuylkill Avenue back to the Market Street ramp to westbound I-76; and
  • From 7:00 PM Saturday, September 19, to 5:00 AM Sunday, September 20, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to one lane between the 30th Street and University Avenue interchanges for median barrier reconstruction. The South Street eastbound off-ramp also will be closed.

*The scheduled full closures of eastbound and westbound I-76 at 30th Street will not occur at the same time. When one side is closed, the other side will remain in a single-lane pattern through the work area.

During the closure of the westbound off-ramp to South Street, motorists will be detoured to the westbound off-ramp at 30th Street and follow the detour signs around 30th Street Station back to South Street.

During the closure of the eastbound off-ramp to South Street, eastbound I-76 motorists will be directed to exit at 30th Street and follow the detour signs around 30th Street Station back to South Street. 

During the closure of the South Street on-ramp to eastbound I-76, motorists will be directed to follow South Street west to 34th Street and the ramp to eastbound I-76.

Drivers are advised to use alternate routes or allow extra time when traveling through the work areas because significant backups and delays will occur during all of the scheduled activities, which are weather permitting.

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

For a complete list of construction projects impacting state-owned highways in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, visit our District 6 Traffic Bulletin.

State Transportation Commission Adopts Updated 12-Year Transportation Program

Action Clears Way for Latest Round of Transportation Improvements across Pennsylvania

 
Harrisburg, PA – The State Transportation Commission (STC) today updated the 12-Year Program. The new plan anticipates $64.8 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.
The 12-Year Program, or TYP, is a multimodal, fiscally-constrained planning tool used to identify and prioritize Pennsylvania’s transportation projects and the funds needed to complete them. State law requires the STC to review and update the 12-Year Program every two years. No capital project can move forward unless it is included in the 12-Year Program.
 
The newly adopted program, which takes effect October 1, anticipates the following funding availability in the first four years of the TYP from federal, state and local sources:

  • $11.4 billion for state highway and bridge projects;
  • $9.4 billion for public transit;
  • $321 million for multimodal projects;
  • $228 million for rail freight; and
  • $138 million for aviation.

“Investments in transportation are critical for keeping our communities connected to the global economy,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “While additional investment in our large transportation network is certainly needed, PennDOT takes pride in being a responsible steward of federal, state and local dollars to help improve infrastructure across all modes.”
 
The TYP also highlights some of PennDOT’s major accomplishments over the past two years, such as becoming REAL ID-compliant, as well as impacts to transportation in Pennsylvania because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Four Rural Planning Organizations, 19 Metropolitan Planning Organizations and one independent county partnered with PennDOT in the review and development of the update. Now that the STC has approved the update, it has been submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for review and approval. The Federal Highway Administration coordinates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the plan’s conformity with air quality requirements.
 
Public input early in the 12-Year planning process played a key role in identifying investments in the various transportation modes.
 
The State Transportation Commission is chaired by the Secretary of PennDOT and consists of 10 appointed citizens as well as the majority and minority chairs of the state House and Senate Transportation committees.
 
For more information about the TYP, visit www.TalkPATransportation.com.

Construction Update: Summer 2020

Eastbound Viaduct Repairs Completed, Construction Continues on Westbound Side

Summer 2020 – With construction on the eastbound side of Interstate 76 finishing in early summer, PennDOT’s contractor will focus on completing westbound pavement repairs and resurfacing this summer before shifting to the final stage of the project to remove and replace the median barrier between University Avenue and 30th Street in Center City Philadelphia.

Weekend long closures of the expressway are expected to end once work finishes on the westbound side in August. Median work will then get underway, requiring an around-the-clock closure of a westbound lane between University Avenue and 30th Street through late 2020 for median replacement.

Repairs to the structural components beneath the viaduct also will continue until later in the year.

PennDOT in 2019 began repairs on the topside and underside of the Interstate 76 viaduct between 30th Street and University Avenue in Philadelphia. Throughout 2019, PennDOT’s contractor repaired the surface of a significant part of the eastbound viaduct overnight and weekend operations.

As the top side of the viaduct was repaired and repaved during the 2019 construction season, work continued on the underside of the structure, where crews are rehabilitating the viaduct’s support columns. The contractor is utilizing a construction barge along the west side of the Schuylkill River to reach hard-to-access sections of the viaduct.

Rehabilitation of the surface of the eastbound structure included cleaning and refurbishing the eastbound viaduct’s stormwater drainage system and repairs to the concrete deck’s expansion dams, parapets, and deteriorated pavement overlay. During several full weekend closures of the eastbound expressway in 2019, crews milled and overlayed large sections of the eastbound right lane and shoulder.

During the remaining surface repairs that will take place in the westbound direction in 2020, motorists should anticipate similar impacts to traffic as work is performed on the remaining portion of the expressway. In addition, various on-off ramps may be closed periodically as the work progresses. A revised construction schedule will be published on the project website prior to the start of work in 2020.

PennDOT will continue to communicate travel impacts in weekly Travel Advisories, which will be issued to local media and distributed through the project website to subscribers. Sign up at www.i76viaduct.com/more-info/contact to receive travel advisories and other project-related information.

PennDOT is placing an overlay of synthetic polyester polymer concrete (PPC) as a new riding surface on the viaduct’s travel lanes. The PPC cures (dries and hardens) faster than conventional pavement, allowing the viaduct’s surface to be rehabilitated while minimizing the need for long-term lane closures that are normally required for conventional materials.

In addition, PennDOT’s contractor has finished work on the bridge that carries the Schuylkill Expressway over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County. Joint, bearing, and structural steel repairs to this structure have been completed. Similar repairs to other I-76 bridges in Montgomery County were made earlier this year.

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, and Learner’s Permits

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner’s permits, will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Effective July 23, expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards, and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through August 31, 2020, have been extended until August 31, 2020. These extensions are in addition to those announced on June 25.

A camera card is considered a driver’s license, so it is covered by the same terms and conditions extending other driver’s license products. Camera cards with expiration dates within this timeframe are also extended through August 31, 2020.

Additionally, limited services are available at some Driver License and Photo License Centers. For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.   

Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and schedule a driver’s exam. There are no additional fees for using online services.

PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.

More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

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.

Federal REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Postponed to October 2021

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the Department of Homeland Security has 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.

PennDOT closed all driver and photo license centers on March 16 and paused REAL ID issuance in the state out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health. Centers will reopen no sooner than April 3. PennDOT also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, requesting that the agency consider extending the October 1, 2020 REAL ID enforcement deadline.

“We are very pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to our concerns, as well as the concerns from our fellow states regarding the need for a postponement on REAL ID enforcement in the midst of this national emergency,” said PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

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. 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 now be used on and after October 1, 2021, as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.

REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania. There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs once issuance has resumed.

More information about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via  www.dmv.pa.gov.

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Underway

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) today announced that enforcement of the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program begins next week. Today marks the end of a 60-day pre-enforcement period that was required by Act 86 of 2018, which established the AWZSE program.

“Through the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, we are urging motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving, especially through work zones where roadway conditions can change on a daily basis,” said acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “In 2018, 23 motorists were killed in a Pennsylvania work zone. Ultimately, this program is not about issuing violations, it’s about saving lives.”

Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices. AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Beginning today, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

Work zones are selected to maximize the effectiveness of the systems and will be marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area. Additionally, locations are posted on the project website, WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

“While there can be fines assessed, the AWZSE program’s goal is not to generate revenue,” explained PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “The goal is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors. The program serves as a roadway reminder that safety is literally in each driver’s hands when they are behind the wheel.”

In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities, and 43 percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

For more information on the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

Construction Update: Summer 2019

Eastbound I-76 Paving this Summer

The barge on the Schuylkill River

PennDOT’s contractor is making progress on repairing the structural components and the deck of the eastbound Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) viaduct in Center City Philadelphia and begins resurfacing the eastbound lanes between 30th Street and University Avenue exits this summer.

Crews continue to rehabilitate the support columns on the underside of the eastbound and westbound structure utilizing a barge (right) to reach hard-to-access sections of the viaduct along the west side of the Schuylkill River.

While much of the top-side repairs to the eastbound viaduct’s drainage system, expansion dams, parapets, and concrete pavement are taking place during nighttime operations, paving scheduled for July through September will impact weekend users of the eastbound expressway.

Weekend travel restrictions are scheduled for eastbound I-76 on the following dates:

  • July 19-21;
  • July 26-28;
  • August 9-11;
  • September 13-15; and
  • September 27-29

Additional eastbound restrictions will be scheduled for this fall.

During those weekend operations, which are weather dependent, the eastbound expressway will be closed and detoured:

  • 11:00 PM Fridays to 10:00 AM Saturdays;
  • 10:00 PM Saturdays to 10:00 AM Sundays; and
  • 11:00 PM Sundays to 5:00 AM Mondays.

The eastbound expressway also will be limited to one-lane on those weekends between the closures, and various eastbound on-off ramps will be closed as the work progresses from west-to-east over the designated weekends.

Workers placing PPCThe restrictions will allow crews to place a synthetic overlay (Polyester Polymer Concrete) on the bridge decks (left). The synthetic concrete cures faster, allowing the viaduct’s surface to be rehabilitated while minimizing the need for long-term lane closures that are required for curing conventional concrete pavement.

Between the weekend closures, crews will continue working during the overnight hours weekdays to make repairs to the eastbound viaduct.

Nighttime and weekend construction in 2019 will take place only on the eastbound side.

The westbound side of the viaduct will be repaired in 2020 utilizing similar nighttime and weekend construction activities as are being used on the eastbound side.

PennDOT’s contractor also begins work later this summer on the eastbound and westbound bridge that carries the Schuylkill Expressway over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County. Construction crews will be performing joint, bearing, and structural steel repairs to this structure.

Work on this bridge will require short-term, overnight single lane closures any night, with extended hours on weekends, in either or both of the eastbound and westbound directions through the fall.