Travel Advisory

Grays Ferry Avenue Lane Closure Scheduled at Night Oct. 15 for Bridge Paving in Philadelphia

October 13, 2020 – Grays Ferry Avenue between 34th Street/University Avenue and 47th Street in Southwest Philadelphia will be reduced to a single lane with flagging on Thursday, October 15, from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning for paving of the bridge over the Schuylkill River, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because backups and delays will occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.

Crews will be placing a latex overlay paving material on the bridge’s recently-repaired concrete deck. The paving operation is one of the final stages under a $13.3 million project that got underway in late 2018 to rehabilitate the bridge’s structural components, upgrade its drainage system, repair and repave its concrete deck, install new sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes, and complete a number of improvements to Grays Ferry Avenue on both sides of the bridge.

Work on this project will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, special signage and relevant training.

Buckley and Company Inc., of Philadelphia is the general contractor on the project which is financed with 100 percent state funds.

Fall 2020 Construction Update

Fall 2020 Construction Update

Eastbound Construction to Finish this Fall

Fall 2020 – With the structural repairs complete and the new concrete deck installed eastbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia, PennDOT’s contractor this fall will install the Latex Modified Concrete (LMC) deck, and finish constructing a new retaining wall and reconstruct the approach on the bridge’s eastbound side.

Due to delays caused by COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the addition of a curb-protected westbound bicycle lane, the completion date of the project has been pushed back from this fall to spring 2021. Next spring, the contractor will mill and pave the westbound approach, install new traffic signals on Grays Ferry Avenue at the bridge, and complete installation of protected bicycle lanes on both the eastbound and westbound sides.

Eastbound paving is almost complete.

PennDOT anticipates that a modular curb system with flexible delineator posts will be installed by the end of April 2021 on the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River. This safety enhancement, which will complement the protected pedestrian/bicycling lane that will be installed later this summer on the eastbound side of the bridge, will make the boundary between the westbound bike lane and the adjacent vehicular traffic lane more visible to both drivers and bicyclists. Once the project is complete, the protected lane will connect directly with access to the Schuylkill River Trail that runs under the bridge.

An example of a modular curb system with flexible delineators.

Over the past two construction seasons, PennDOT’s contractor has replaced the bridge’s expansion dams, which allow normal expansion and contraction of the bridge deck’s concrete slabs due to seasonal changes in temperature, repaired the bridge’s drainage system, and refurbished the bridge’s steel structural components.

In addition to bridge deck and superstructure repairs, crews also have repaired the concrete abutments and support columns underneath the bridge.

Crews refurbish the underside of the bridge.

Completion of “punch list” construction items will wrap-up the $13.3 million rehabilitation in late 2020.

Notice

PennDOT Installing Westbound Protected Bike Lane in Late 2020

September 9, 2020 – PennDOT anticipates that a modular curb system with flexible delineator posts will be installed by the end of November 2020 on the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River. This project safety enhancement will make the boundary between the westbound bike lane and the adjacent vehicular traffic lane more visible to both drivers and bicyclists.

The below photo is an example of the modular curb system with flexible delineator posts that will be installed on the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River.

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, and Learner’s Permits

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner’s permits, will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Effective July 23, expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through August 31, 2020, have been extended until August 31, 2020. These extensions are in addition to those announced on June 25.

A camera card is considered a driver’s license, so it is covered by the same terms and conditions extending other driver’s license products. Camera cards with expiration dates within this timeframe are also extended through August 31, 2020.

Additionally, limited services are available at some Driver License and Photo License Centers. For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.   

Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and schedule a driver’s exam. There are no additional fees for using online services.

PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.

More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

Federal REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Postponed to October 2021

Harrisburg, PA –The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the Department of Homeland Security has postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration.

PennDOT closed all driver and photo license centers on March 16 and paused REAL ID issuance in the state out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health. Centers will reopen no sooner than April 3. PennDOT also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, requesting that the agency consider extending the October 1, 2020 REAL ID enforcement deadline.

“We are very pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to our concerns, as well as the concerns from our fellow states regarding the need for a postponement on REAL ID enforcement in the midst of this national emergency,” said PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. A federally-acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must now be used on and after October 1, 2021, as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.

REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania. There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs once issuance has resumed.

More information about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via  www.dmv.pa.gov.

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Underway

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) today announced that enforcement of the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program begins next week. Today marks the end of a 60-day pre-enforcement period that was required by Act 86 of 2018, which established the AWZSE program.

“Through the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, we are urging motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving, especially through work zones where roadway conditions can change on a daily basis,” said acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “In 2018, 23 motorists were killed in a Pennsylvania work zone. Ultimately, this program is not about issuing violations, it’s about saving lives.”

Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices. AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Beginning today, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

Work zones are selected to maximize the effectiveness of the systems and will be marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area. Additionally, locations are posted on the project website, WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

“While there can be fines assessed, the AWZSE program’s goal is not to generate revenue,” explained PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “The goal is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors. The program serves as a roadway reminder that safety is literally in each driver’s hands when they are behind the wheel.”

In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities, and 43 percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

For more information on the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

Winter 2019/2020 Construction Update

Winter 2019/2020 Construction Update

Construction Continues on Eastbound Side

Winter 2019/2020 — With repairs completed to the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia, two lanes of traffic have been shifted onto the rehabilitated westbound lanes as the contractor continues to repair the eastbound side of the span.

During the current construction stage, crews are replacing the existing expansion dams, which allow normal expansion and contraction of the bridge deck’s individual concrete slabs due to seasonal changes in temperature.

The eastbound deck’s pavement overlay has been removed to allow workers to repair deteriorated areas of the existing deck.

The bridge’s drainage system also is being replaced.

The contractor also has begun repairs to the deck’s steel structural components and replacement of deteriorated “beam seats”, where the structural members rest atop the concrete support piers.

In addition to bridge deck and superstructure repairs, crews also continue repairs to the concrete abutments and support columns underneath the bridge.

As part of the improvements to the bridge, PennDOT will install a 10’-wide, barrier protected pedestrian/bicycling lane to the eastbound side of the bridge once the structural repairs are completed and the final pavement overlay is applied. The protected lane will connect directly with access to the Schuylkill River Trail that runs under the bridge.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

Fall 2019 Construction Update

Fall 2019 Construction Update

Westbound Repairs Finished, Work Underway on Eastbound Side

Fall 2019 — The contractor has completed repairs to the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia, shifted two lanes of traffic onto the rehabilitated westbound lanes, and begun work on the eastbound side of the span.

Traffic shifted to eastbound side

The contractor finished rehabilitation of the structural components and placed the pavement overlay on the westbound concrete deck in early fall prior to the shift to the next construction stage in late October. Some work remains to be done on the westbound side after structural and deck repairs are completed on the opposite side.

During the current construction stage, crews will remove the eastbound concrete overlay and clean and repair the stormwater drainage inlets before starting structural repairs similar to those that were completed on the opposite side, including repair/rehabilitation of deck’s structural steel components and replacement of deteriorated “beam seats”, where the structural members rest atop the concrete support piers.

In addition to bridge deck and superstructure repairs, crews also will continue repairs to the concrete abutments and support columns.

The eastbound deck’s expansion dams, which allow normal expansion and contraction of the bridge deck’s individual concrete slabs due to seasonal changes in temperature, will also be replaced, and workers will repair deteriorated areas of the existing concrete deck.

The bridge’s drainage system also is being replaced.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

Summer 2019 Construction Update

Summer 2019 Construction Update

Deck, Structural Repairs Continue on Westbound Side of the Bridge

An exposed expansion dam

Summer 2019 — Construction crews continue making repairs to the westbound deck and to the structural components of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia.

Expansion dams that control movement of the individual concrete deck slabs on the westbound side are being repaired or replaced. The dams allow the bridge deck’s individual concrete slabs to expand and contract — a normal occurrence — due to seasonal changes in temperature.

The overlay on the westbound deck has been removed, allowing crews to identify and fix a number of deteriorated areas.

Protective shielding in place under the bridge

In addition to bridge deck repairs, crews are also repairing deteriorated “beam seats” — where the steel girders rest atop support piers — on the underside of the bridge.

The bridge’s drainage system also is being replaced.

The westbound concrete deck will be repaved at the end of the current stage, which is expected to take most of the 2019 construction season to complete.

The westbound side of the bridge is currently closed, and traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on the eastbound side of the span.

A barrier-protected multi-use path is open on the eastbound side of the bridge.

Stage 1 construction graphic
Stage 1 construction graphic.

At the completion of Stage 1 repairs, traffic will be moved to the westbound side and similar repairs will take place on the eastbound lanes.

Chestnut Street Bridges

PennDOT is rehabilitating, repairing and repainting the steel superstructure and replacing the deck of the Chestnut Street (PA Route 3) bridge over the Schuylkill River that connects Center City Philadelphia with University City and West Philadelphia. The $103,589,847 project also will replace the decks of three adjacent Chestnut Street bridges (over 30th Street and Amtrak; over CSX rail lines; and over 24th Street), two viaducts on Schuylkill Avenue and two ramp structures for I-76 (Chestnut Street WB off-ramp, Walnut Street EB on-ramp).