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Bracing for Schuylkill Expressway closures

June 04, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Brad Rudolph

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How do you spread the word to travelers about traffic impacts when you have to close the Schuylkill Expressway for at least 20 weekends before the end of 2020? PennDOT thinks early and often.

In early April, the department's Philadelphia-area district welcomed the media for a briefing to outline a $39.8 million project to rehabilitate two Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) viaducts, which include the 6,120-foot-long structure between the Interstate 676 and University Avenue interchanges in Center City Philadelphia.

District Executive Kenneth M. McClain, along with Assistant District Executive for Design Chuck Davies, and Acting Assistant District Executive for Construction Harold Windisch, highlighted the purpose of the rehabilitations, the specific repairs needed for each structure, and most importantly, the impacts motorist can expect during all this work.

Through the end of 2020, the rehabilitation of the 289-span Center City structure will require numerous overnight lane closures, full directional closures, as well as a limited number of weekend daytime single-lane closures over the next 21 months. And don't forget all the ramps! They'll be closed, too, as needed, across the project limits. Altogether, there will be more than 15 detour routes implemented at some point during construction.

"We are working very closely with our partners and stakeholders including SEPTA, DRPA, nearby universities, sports teams, event centers, hospitals and others to best coordinate and limit construction impacts," McClain said.

To stay in the know about this project, PennDOT has launched a website — — to keep motorists up-to-date on each week's planned lane restrictions and/or closings.

As part of this project, a second, 345-foot-long viaduct carrying I-76 over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County, will be repaired. Work on the structure is expected to begin in June and be completed this November. The repairs will be done using single-lane closures seven nights a week. No full closure of the expressway is planned for this rehabilitation. Some good news there.

A road going north with a viaduct bridge crossing over, vegetation in the right foreground.
As part of this project, a 345-foot-long viaduct carrying I-76 over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken will be repaired.

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