PPA, DRPA Team Up to Bring Back Parking Under the Ben Franklin Bridge

Ben Franklin Bridge Parking Lot
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Under the Bridge downtown, that’s where people could soon be able to park again 15 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks caused officials to close the lots out of an abundance of caution.

The Delaware River Port Authority approached the Philadelphia Parking Authority about operating a paid parking lot under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Old City in May, according to documents obtained by NBC10.

The DRPA said that there is a need for more affordable off-street parking in the area surrounding the bridge on the Philadelphia side. The PPA Board approved the agreement that calls for a 10-year parking agreement between the agencies.

It would cost about $660,000 to lay concrete, install curbs and install electrical needed to transform about a three-block area under the bridge between the Interstate 95 on-ramp (near Front Street) and 4th Street into 196 parking spaces.

"The DRPA plans to work with the PPA to make necessary improvements to these areas in order to provide safe and secure parking for residents, businesses and visitors to Philadelphia," said it’s initial proposal submitted in May. "... Due to security concerns, it is anticipated that the parking areas will be limited to passenger vehicles parking on a month-to-month basis only and that transient parking will not be permitted." [[395436011, C]]

The PPA can’t charge parking fees that exceed "reasonable" rates "consistent with the comparable market rates." The agreement also calls for the PPA to not knowingly permit any flammable or hazardous materials under the bridge.

The PPA must pay $8,750 or half its monthly revenue to the DRPA each month, per the agreement. The DRPA also must pay back the construction cost of the lot in 10 percent intervals (90 percent after Year 1, 50 percent after Year 5) if they pull out of the parking deal at any time before the end of the 10-year agreement.

The agencies didn’t reveal when construction on the lot will be completed and people can begin parking. [[238427591, C]]

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