Fall 2019 – Construction activities are underway to rehabilitate and repaint the steel structural components and place a new concrete deck on the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River over a year of work following the closure of the bridge to through traffic in August.
The rehabilitated span, which crosses the Schuylkill River between 24th and 30th streets, also will include new sidewalks, ornamental railings, a trellis structure, decorative lighting and bicycle lanes in both directions when it reopens in mid-summer 2020.
Crews have removed the existing concrete deck from the northern half of the bridge and are refurbishing the steel girders and other structural members. A containment system has been installed to prevent dust from getting into the air/water during abrasive blasting and painting of the structural steel members that support the bridge.
Though the bridge is closed to vehicular through traffic, the southern half of the span remains open to pedestrians and cyclists, and to motorists accessing the parking garage for the commercial/residential building on the east side of the river while temporary access during construction is built to the lot. Once the temporary lot access is finished, the contractor will close the bridge entirely to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists while work on the span is completed. The full closure is expected to begin in November.
Chestnut Street also is now closed to vehicular through traffic between 23rd and 24th streets, though it will remain open to local traffic and emergency vehicles which will be permitted to enter from 23rd Street and travel west to buildings on the closed block. (Click this link to see vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian detour routes.)
As the large river bridge is rehabilitated, the contractor also will continue repairs to the stone arch bridges (left) over the CSX rail lines on the east bank of the river and over 24th Street. Both 150-year-old bridges are being modified to strengthen their arch supports and reconstruct their masonry components.
On the west side of the river, rehabilitation of the Schuylkill Avenue viaducts over Interstate 76 between Market and Walnut streets continues to progress. Crews have replaced most of the concrete deck on the Schuylkill Avenue viaduct between Chestnut and Walnut streets and are now replacing the concrete sidewalks and parapets.
On the west side of the viaduct between Chestnut and Market streets, the final segments of new concrete bridge deck were replaced this summer. Work is now progressing on similar repairs on the east side of the viaduct.
Structural repairs, including replacement of the expansion dams, have been completed, and new pavement surface overlays have been placed on the ramps from Walnut Street to I-76 and from westbound I-76 to 30th Street.
Rehabilitation is also now underway on the south side of the viaduct that carries Chestnut Street over Lower 30th Street between 31st and 30th streets. Similar repairs on the north side of Chestnut Street at this location finished over the summer. Two lanes of Chestnut Street traffic has been shifted to the north side.
Repairs to strengthen the “river wall” (above) that helps support I-76 where it abuts the west side of the Schuylkill River beneath Schuylkill Avenue from Walnut Street to Chestnut Street are ongoing.
Repairs to a retaining wall at the river’s edge on the east side of the river under the Chestnut Street Bridge that require closing of a section of the Schuylkill River Trail at Chestnut Street will be done over the winter. The trail will be closed for 90 days while the wall is repaired.
The work is part of PennDOT’s $103.6 million project to rehabilitate the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River and seven adjacent or nearby structures. Construction began in August 2017 and is scheduled to finish in late 2020.