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Stotesbury Regatta Brings Rowers to Schuylkill River, Closure to Kelly Drive

Here is what you need to know and tips for getting around the closure of Kelly Drive (and lane restrictions on Girard Avenue) in Philadelphia this weekend

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Give yourself some extra time to get into or out of Philadelphia Friday and Saturday.

The Stotesbury Cup Regatta, which bills itself as "the largest high school rowing regatta in the world," is back on the Schuylkill River and that means a Kelly Drive closure drivers should plan for.

An ongoing project near the Philadelphia Zoo could also slow you down.

The Stotesbury Cup Regatta Brings Kelly Drive Detour

After a year of regattas lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, the boat races are back and so are the traffic detours along Kelly Drive (normally an alternate route for extra traffic on busy Interstate 76).

The Stotesbury Cup Regatta is bringing high school rowers from around the country to the Schuylkill River Friday and Saturday.

To allow space for crews to load in equipment and needing to access the water, Kelly Drive is closed to traffic in both directions between the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Fountain Drive from 5 a.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday, Philadelphia police said.

However, with no spectators at this year's race due to COVID-19 concerns, extra traffic from racegoers isn't expected.

Drivers will be detoured through Fairmount Park, but police say delays should be "minimal."

  • Southbound Kelly Drive traffic will be detoured up the Strawberry Mansion ramp to Fountain Green Drive via Reservoir Drive.
  • Northbound Kelly Drive traffic will be detoured up Fountain Green Drive along the same route.

The ongoing closure of Martin Luther King Drive on the other side of the river for recreational activities, however, makes this closure more impactful.

A Potential Traffic Headache on Girard Avenue Near the Philadelphia Zoo

Folks who use surface roads to get into Center City should plan on avoiding Girard Avenue near the Philadelphia Zoo on Friday and Saturday.

A lane along West Girard Avenue (U.S. Route 30) will be closed between 34th and 38th streets Friday and Saturday, "for bridge construction as part of a project to replace the bridge that carries four lanes of traffic and the SEPTA Route 15 trolley over CSX railroad tracks," PennDOT said.

The lane closure will only happen in one direction at a time. And the project continues Mondays through Saturdays until May 27, PennDOT said.

The other issue that could cause you to slow down -- and even potentially could slow traffic down onto I-76 -- is the off ramp from eastbound I-76 that accesses Girard in the construction zone will be reduced to one lane throughout the project.

"Drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work areas because backups and delays will occur," PennDOT said.

Have a Traffic Plan

The best bet is to check your traffic app before you leave and during your drive and to tune to our newsgathering partners at KYW Newsradio for the latest traffic reports.

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