Summer 2020 - PennDOT's contractor in early June closed the southern half of the Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill River to all pedestrians, bicycle, and vehicle traffic and immediately began work to rehabilitate that half of the structure. (A new temporary driveway ramp accessible from the 23rd Street/Chestnut Street intersection to the 2400 Chestnut Street building parking garage was constructed and a new traffic pattern on Chestnut Street was implemented to provide access to the lot while the adjacent bridges are rehabilitated.)
Crews returned to the work area in early May following a six-week shutdown of all Pennsylvania construction in March and April due to the COVID-19 virus. Work resumed under a COVID-19 Safety Plan that mandates numerous protocols for social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment, and other measures designed to enhance worker safety.
As crews finished refurbishing the steel and placing the new concrete deck, and build the sidewalk and parapets containing pedestals for overhead lighting on the north side of the span, workers began demolishing the parapet, parapet rails, and concrete deck on the opposite side.
When finished, the rehabilitated Chestnut Street bridge over the river will have a new riding surface, new sidewalks, ornamental railings, a trellis entrance structure, decorative lighting, and a parking-protected bicycle lane.
As the large river bridge is rehabilitated, the contractor continues repairing the stone arch bridges over 24th Street and CSX Railroad. The 150-year-old bridges are being modified to strengthen their arch supports, reconstruct their masonry components, and build a new concrete deck.
Delays caused by CSX Railroad scheduling at the stone arch bridge over the tracks adjacent to the 24th Street arch bridge, and by the COVID-19 pandemic may delay the project's completion until next spring.
Repairs to a retaining wall at river's edge on the east side of the river under the Chestnut Street bridge that require closing a section of the Schuylkill River Trail at Chestnut Street will be done later 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 placed 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, where the new concrete deck is expected to be in place by early fall.
Rehabilitation also continues on the south side of the viaduct that carries Chestnut Street over Lower 30th Street between 31st and 30th streets. And 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.