August 2, 2019 – The Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia closed Monday night, 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.
While the Chestnut Street bridge is now closed to through traffic and bicyclists, it remains open for vehicle access to and from the 2400 Chestnut Street residential and office building until temporary access to and from the building during construction is in place on the east side of the bridge. The bridge also remains open to pedestrians at this time. Access to and from 2400 Chestnut Street during construction is expected to be in place by mid-September, at which time the Chestnut Street bridge will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians.
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.
In addition to the bridge closure, westbound I-76 will be reduced to a single lane, then closed completely overnight next week near 30th Street in Philadelphia for demolition and repainting. Eastbound I-76 will also have an overnight lane closure in place.
The work schedule is:
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:
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.