Pope Francis is coming to town and that means traffic troubles and potential headaches for motorists not just in Philadelphia but in South Jersey, Delaware and the suburbs.
The closures began Thursday and many remain in effect into Monday. The biggest closures for the Pope’s visit center around interstates and the Ben Franklin Bridge:
- Click for closures and detours on SEPTA and road closures in South Jersey, Main Line, Delco and Delaware
CLOSED Thursday night to (sometime) Monday morning: Vine Street Expressway (I-676) exits to 23rd Street/Ben Franklin Parkway, Broad Street and 8th Street will be closed.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: At this point, I-95 and I-76 will remain open so plan on using exits from those roads or sticking to surface streets instead. The ramp from City Avenue (Route 1) to the Roosevelt Expressway will also remain open.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: With the access points to the city along both Kelly and Martin Luther King drives also closed, roads such as Ridge Pike, Cobbs Creek Parkway, Route 23, Henry Avenue and other surface roads can be used to get in and out of the city but expect serious delays and other possible traffic closures once you approach the traffic box.
CLOSED 10 p.m. Friday to (sometime) Monday morning: Vine Street Expressway (I-676) in both directions between I-76 and I-95 in Pennsylvania.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: If you are within the traffic box, roads like Pine and Spruce streets could be used to get across town. I-95 could be your best bet however since it’s a highway and will allow cars to pass throughout the visit.
CLOSED 10 p.m. Friday to (sometime) Monday morning: I-95 exits to Callowhill Street, I-676, Washington Avenue and Broad Street. (Buses only will be allowed to access the South Philly exits)
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES: The areas served by these exits (with the exception of Broad Street) are in the restricted driving area during the Pope visit so unless you can leave your car inside that area, don’t plan on getting into it.
CLOSED 10 p.m. Friday to noon Monday: Cars won’t be allowed on the Ben Franklin Bridge. Pedestrians will be able to walk across the span from Camden to Philadelphia.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: The Betsy Ross and Walt Whitman bridges will remain open to vehicles.
Closures will also be in effect other parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware:
CLOSED ROADS: West Chester Pike/Market Street from Victory Avenue to Powell Lane; Garrett Road from Chestnut Street to Market Street; 69th Street Boulevard from Market Street to Ludlow Street; Victory from State Road to West Chester Pike/Market Street; Keystone Avenue from West Chester Pike to Victory Avenue; Kent Road from Ludlow Street to Market Street; Overhill Road from Chestnut Street to Market Street; and Wellington Road from Chestnut Street to Market Street
ALTERNATE ROUTES: Upper Darby Township set up drop-off and pick-up areas along Market and Garrett roads as well as West Chester Pike.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: DelDOT plans to keep ramps from I-95 and other roads open. Best bet is to avoid the train station area unless you plan on taking the train.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: Route 42 to the Walt Whitman Bridge can be used instead. Motorists are being allowed to park in Camden at a cost so expect surface streets in the city to remain open with police directing traffic like they would during a concert at the waterfront.
Don’t expect getting into Center City or University City during the papal visit. Here is the full list and map (care of the city) of which roads will be closed.
CLOSED 7 p.m. Thursday to (sometime) Monday:
- 19th and Wood streets
- 21st and Winter streets
- 21st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
CLOSED 8 a.m. Friday to (sometime) Monday: All Authorized Vehicle Routes in Philadelphia.
In Center City, Old City, Rittenhouse, Fairmount and surrounding neighborhoods:
- Fairmount Avenue from Kelly Drive to Broad Street
- N 25th Street from Fairmount to Pennsylvania avenues
- N 16th Street from Ogden to Race streets
- Vine Street from 7th to 17th streets
- Willow Street from 2 to 7th streets
- 7th Street from Green to Sansom streets
- Market Street from 7th to City Hall
- S 6th Street from Chestnut to Sansom streets
- Sansom Street from 6th to 7th streets and 10th to 11th streets
- Chestnut Street from 6th to 7th streets
- S 11th Street from Market to Bainbridge streets
- 22nd Street from Winter to Pemberton streets
- Lombard Street from Front to 27th streets
- South Street Bridge from 27th Street
In University City:
- River Fields Drive to University Boulevard
- University Boulevard from River Fields Drive to Civic Center Boulevard
- Civic Center Boulevard from University Boulevard to Health Science Drive
- Health Sciences Drive from Civic Center Boulevard to Convention Avenue
- Convention Avenue from Health Sciences Drive to 34th Street
- 34th Street from Convention Avenue to Lancaster Avenue
- Powelton Avenue from 38th Street to Lancaster Avenue
- Lancaster Avenue from 34th to 38th streets
- Market Street from 34th Street to JFK Boulevard
- JFK Boulevard from Market Street to N 30th Street
- N 30th Street to Arch Street to Schuylkill Avenue (area round 30th Street Station)
The Secure Vehicle Perimeter around areas (Ben Franklin Parkway and Independence Hall) where Pope Francis will appear goes into effect starting Thursday night. Click here for details.
CLOSED 7 p.m. Friday to (sometime) Monday:
- Arch Street from 4th to 7th streets
- Sansom Street from 7th to 8th streets
CLOSED 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Sunday and then CLOSED 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday: City Avenue (U.S. Route 1) northbound from Lancaster Avenue (U.S. Route 30) to I-76 and City Avenue southbound from Belmont to Lancaster with "unannounced periodic closures for security reasons" that could spread to I-76, said City Ave District.
ALTERNATE ROUTES: In the city, Woodbine and Overbrook avenues run parallel to City Ave. On the suburban side, Bowman and Montgomery avenues as well as Remington Road could be used to get where you’re going. Cross traffic will remain flowing on major intersections like Presidential Boulevard, Belmont, Unshaken state Road (Route 23), Bryn Mawr Avenue, Old Lancaster/54th Street and Lancaster Avenue.