Spring 2020 – Construction resumed in early May on the project to rehabilitate the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River along with several bridges and viaducts in Center City Philadelphia, including the stone arch bridge over 24th Street, and the Schuylkill Avenue viaducts over Interstate 76.
Work on this project will be done 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 job site, special signing, and relevant training.
Crews have rehabilitated the steel components and placed the new concrete deck on the north side of the bridge over the river between 24th and Schuylkill Avenue. New sidewalks on the north side of the bridge will be completed this spring.
The reconstruction of Chestnut Street east of the bridge to 23rd Street is expected to be completed in late spring. When that work finishes, rehabilitation of the southern half of the river bridge will begin, closing the span completely to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at that time. Crews will then remove the remaining sections of the concrete deck from the southern half of the bridge and begin refurbishing the steel girders and other structural members on that side.
Scheduled for completion in late summer 2020, the rehabilitated Chestnut Street bridge over the river will have a new riding surface, new sidewalks, ornamental railings, a trellis structure, decorative lighting, a designated bicycle lane on the left side of Chestnut Street between 34th Street and 22nd Street.
As the large river bridge is rehabilitated, the contractor continues repairing the stone arch bridges over 24th Street and the CSX Railroad. The 150-year-old bridges are being modified to strengthen their arch supports and reconstruct their masonry components.
Repairs to a retaining wall at the river’s edge on the east side of the river under the Chestnut Street Bridge that require the closing of a section of the Schuylkill River Trail at Chestnut Street will be done in late this year or in early 2021. The trail will be closed for 90 days while the wall is repaired. A detour will route pedestrian and cycling traffic around the closed section of the trail during construction.
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 concrete sidewalks and parapets and applying the final paint coat to the underlying structural steel support members. Structural repairs and re-decking are ongoing on the west side of the viaduct between Chestnut and Market streets.
Rehabilitation is also underway on the south side of the viaduct that carries Chestnut Street over Lower 30th Street between 31st and 30th. Similar repairs on the north side of Chestnut Street at this location finished over the summer. Two lanes of Chestnut Street traffic have been shifted to the north side.
Repairs to strengthen the “river wall” 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 continuing.
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 be finished in the first half of 2021.