Why So Many Torn Up Blocks at Once?

For weeks now gridlocked and bumpy rides have been the norm in parts of Center City.

Philly’s own little version of “Carmageddon” caused by a large resurfacing project has snarled traffic at times along parts of Lombard Street south of 13th as well as 11th and 12th Streets from Market to South Streets.

The Streets Department gave warning about the $5.7 million project (80 percent in federal funds and 20 percent from the city) to improve the crumbling streets but the fact that connecting streets were milled and torn up at once leading to less parking, sporadic street closures and plenty of bumpy rides. Add in the time it has taken to pave the streets has motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and residents alike frustrated.

The exposed trolley tracks along 11th Street and various exposed grates, manholes and other bumps along other streets along with dust being kicked up when the streets are open have added frustrations. It didn’t help residents that much of the milling was done during overnight hours -- sometimes taking two nights per street -- a couple of weeks ago.

Since then crews have worked during daytime hours to patch holes, move utility boxes and do other work on the streets.

Streets Department spokeswoman June Cantor told NBC10 why the project couldn’t wait or be divided up over time.

“Because of the deterioration of the streets, all of the streets in this project needed resurfacing,” Cantor said. “Further delay of resurfacing would damage the base of the street which would trigger reconstruction rather than resurfacing which is much more expensive and impactful because it would require full closure of the street for a significant amount of time.”

Other projects like new pipes being installed around 22nd and Bainbridge Street, repairs to Scott’s Lane in East Falls and other small projects have people asking when will it all end.

The end is near, according to Cantor.

“Paving is to be completed in November,” Cantor said.

Each street will take about two nights to pave and certain street projects not necessarily in Center City could go into December.

After that paving will be put on hold until after winter when paving is expected to be more spread out through the city.

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