A multimillion dollar makeover is underway on Philadelphia's Spring Garden Street Bridges.
PennDOT began construction on the bridges, one 56-years-old and another 46-years-old, on Monday. The bridges stretch from Eakins Oval, along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, over the Schuylkill River and trail, Interstate 76 and Martin Luther King Drive to N. 31st Street. They carry 15,400 vehicles a day as well as bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
One of the spans is structurally deficient and both are in need of joint replacement, new bearings and pier caps, officials said. The entire 665 feet worth of bridge roadway will be resurfaced and drainage will be improved.
The $6.6 million project also calls for the rehab and widening of a ramp leading to the westbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway.
Traffic patterns will be shifted with some turning lane restrictions on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., PennDot said. In late August, trucks 30 feet or longer will be restricted from using the bridges.
The bridges will then be replaced in two phases: the north side replaced in 2014 and the south side in 2015. Officials say one lane will be open in each direction and pedestrian access will remain.
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The replacement project will also result in the closure of the I-76 westbound ramp from Spring Garden Street for 70 days starting in mid-September.
Officials say the shoulders on I-76 at the bridge will be closed during the project. Single-lane closures on the highway will also come from time to time during the project.
PennDOT expects the project to be done in the summer of 2015.