Construction Update: Winter 2020-21

Construction Update: Winter 2020-21

Bridge’s Top Side Rehab Substantially Completed

Winter 2020-21 — With structural and deck repairs on the top side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River now substantially completed and the bridge opened to four lanes of traffic, final paving of the bridge’s approaches, line painting, completion of the bridge’s new drainage system, and repairs to the underside supports will be completed this spring to wrap up work on PennDOT’s $13.3 million bridge rehabilitation project in Southwest Philadelphia.

Crews will complete improvements to the bridge’s stormwater drainage system and finish repairs to the underside support piers and abutments into spring before finishing the project with final paving at the bridge’s approaches.

Over two-plus years of construction beginning in late 2018 through 2020, PennDOT’s contractor has replaced the bridge’s expansion dams; refurbished the bridge’s steel structural components; repaired and resurfaced the bridge’s deck; and upgraded traffic signals on Grays Ferry Avenue approaching the bridge.

In addition to bridge deck and structural repairs, PennDOT has installed a barrier-protected pedestrian/bicycling lane on the eastbound side; a barrier-protected sidewalk on the westbound side; and a modular curb system with flexible delineators separating (see above) westbound traffic from the painted westbound bicycle lane.

The eastbound pedestrian/bicycle lane is tied in to the existing trailhead path on the south side of the bridge that leads to the Grays Ferry Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail that courses along the river beneath the bridge. 

Fall 2020 Construction Update

Fall 2020 Construction Update

Eastbound Paving to Finish this Fall

Fall 2020 – With the structural repairs completed on the eastbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River,  the contractor will finish placing the Latex Modified Concrete (LMC) riding surface and finish construction of the protected sidewalk/bicycle lane on the bridge’s eastbound side this fall.

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 bridge’s approaches, install new traffic signals on Grays Ferry Avenue at the bridge, and complete installation of protected bicycle lanes on the westbound side.

Eastbound paving will be completed this fall.

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 bridge. This safety enhancement, which will complement the protected pedestrian/bicycling lane 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. 

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.

Rehabilitation of the westbound side of the bridge finished in 2019.

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

Temporary supports in place on the underside of the bridge during repairs to its structural components.

Completion of “punch list” construction items will wrap-up the $13.3 million rehabilitation in late 2021.

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.