Philly's Chestnut Street Bridge Set to Close for a Year: What You Need to Know

What to Know

  • There is soon going to be one less route across the Schuylkill River between University City and Center City.
  • The Chestnut Street Bridge will close Aug. 5 for repairs that are expected to take until summer 2020.
  • The detours are different if you are biking, walking or driving.

It's about to get more difficult to drive across the Schuylkill River between University City and Center City in Philadelphia due to the impending closure of the Chestnut Street Bridge.

When Will the Chestnut Street Bridge Close and for How Long?

We now know the Chestnut Street Bridge closure will begin the night of Monday, Aug. 5. The closure to fix structurally-deficient bridge elements is expected to last through next summer.

The roughly 1/3-mile span will be closed to vehicles and bikes from Schuylkill Avenue West (adjacent to the IRS building) on the west side of the river to 23rd Street on the east side, PennDOT spokesman Brad Rudolph exclusively told NBC10 Friday.

About 19,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day, according to PennDOT.

Detours: How to Get Around the Closure

During the closure, which comes after months of work on the west side of Chestnut Street and other roads in the area, drivers should expect increased traffic on the Market Street and South Street bridges, the only two eastbound spans in the area available to cyclists and drivers.

Pedestrians will also be detoured, needing to use the adjacent Market or Walnut street bridges during the closure.

Cars will be able to go westbound -- against the normal flow of traffic -- to access the 2400 Chestnut condos and parking garage, PennDOT said.

Expect possible SEPTA bus route detours during the duration of the closure. But, the transit agency has yet to disclose the exact detours.

Part of a $104M Reconstruction Plan

The yearlong closure is part of the nearly $104-million Chestnut Street Bridges project that PennDOT contracted Buckley & Company, Inc. to complete between August 2017 and late 2020.

PennDOT has laid out the work that will be done as crews will “remove and replace deck and repair the steel superstructure of the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill Trail.”

Crews will also widen the sidewalks on the bridge and strengthen structurally deficient, weight-posted Chestnut Street masonry arch bridge structure over CSX rail tracks.

Weekend Woes on the Schuylkill Expressway

Pack your patience or seek an alternate route if you plan on taking eastbound Interstate 76 this weekend as at least one lane will be closed until Monday morning.

All the eastbound lanes from 30th Street Station to the South Street Bridge will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday until 10 a.m. Saturday as crews work on the viaduct rehabilitation project. The same stretch will then be detoured from 10 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday and from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday, PennDOT said.

Heading to the shore or the Phillies game Saturday or Sunday? From 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday, the same stretch of eastbound I-76 will be reduced to only a single lane.

Overnight single-lane closures then continues the following week.

Detours will be posted.

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