Chestnut Street Bridges

Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River is Now Open

March 19, 2022 – The Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia was reopened Saturday evening, March 19, after more than two years of construction to rehabilitate and redeck the eastbound connection between University City and Center City, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.
Construction crews removed the temporary access ramp from Chestnut Street to the parking lot of the 2400 Chestnut Street beginning Friday night, March 18, and completed other activities prior to reopening Chestnut Street to vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians on Saturday evening.
The Chestnut Street Bridge repairs are part of PennDOT’s $105.1 million project that began in August 2017 and also included repairs to eight other nearby structures on both sides of the river. The bridge was closed to through traffic in August 2019.
During the Chestnut Street Bridge closure, crews repaired and repainted the bridge’s steel superstructure; placed a new concrete deck; installed wider sidewalks; replaced the bridge’s decorative lighting, parapets and railings; and created a dedicated, parking-protected bicycle lane that extends along Chestnut Street between 34th Street and 22nd Street.
Structural repairs also were completed on historic stone arch bridges carrying Chestnut Street over the CSX Railroad and over 24th Street on the east side of the Schuylkill River. 24th Street will remain closed at Chestnut Street until rehabilitation of the masonry stone facades of both bridges finishes in early summer.
On the west side of the river in the vicinity of 30th Street Station, the structural components of two Schuylkill Avenue viaducts over Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) between Market Street and Chestnut Street, and between Chestnut Street and Walnut Street, were repaired, repainted and redecked.
Other improvements completed under the project included:

  • Rehabilitation of the viaduct carrying Chestnut Street over rail facilities between 31st and 30th Street;
  • Rehabilitation of two structures on the I-76 on-and-off-ramps between Walnut Street and Chestnut Street;
  • Resurfacing Chestnut Street from 31st Street to 30th Street, and from 24th Street to 23rd Street;
  • Constructing wider sidewalks and installing decorative barrier and railings on the Schuylkill Avenue viaducts;
  • Rehabilitation of a 900-foot section of the river wall structure between I-76 and the Schuylkill River between Market Street and Walnut Street;
  • Rehabilitation of a section of retaining wall supporting the Schuylkill River Trail under Chestnut Street;
  • Installation of new traffic signals — including a specialized “bicycle head” signal at Schuylkill Avenue and Chestnut Street — Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) equipment, and street lighting along Chestnut Street between 31st Street and 23rd Street; and
  • Installation of a new clear acrylic barrier along Amtrak Northeast Corridor tracks located on the west side of Schuylkill Avenue West between Chestnut Street and Walnut Street.

Completion of a number of minor construction items will complete the entire project by early summer. Short-term closures of the sidewalk and bicycle lane may occur for completion of minor construction items on the bridge.
The structures on Chestnut Street were constructed between 1910 and 1960 and carry an average of 18,300 vehicles per day. The structures on Schuylkill Avenue were constructed in the late 1950s and carry an average of 8,600 vehicles per day.  
Buckley & Company Inc., of Philadelphia, is the general contractor on the project, which is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.