TRAVEL ADVISORY

Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge Daytime Lane Closure Sept. 24 for Construction in Philadelphia

The westbound Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River between 34th and 47th streets in Philadelphia will be reduced to one lane on Friday, September 24, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, for fence installation, 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 may occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent. 

The work is part of the $14 million project to rehabilitate the bridge and complete a number of improvements to Grays Ferry Avenue on both sides of the bridge. Major construction on the project was substantially completed earlier this year.

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

Federal REAL ID Enforcement Postponed to May 3, 2023

Federal REAL ID Enforcement Postponed to May 3, 2023

THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS POSTPONED THE ENFORCEMENT DATE FOR REAL ID FROM OCTOBER 1, 2021, TO MAY 3, 2023, IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 AND THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION. 

September 1, 2021 – Beginning May 3, 2023, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.

Read the full article on PennDOT’s website for more information on REAL IDs.

Construction Update: Summer 2021

Construction Update: Summer 2021

Bridge Rehab Substantially Completed

Summer 2021 — With final paving and traffic signal upgrades completed this spring between 34th Street and 47th Street, PennDOT will wrap up work on a $13.3 million project to rehabilitate the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia with completion of post-construction “punch list” items this summer.

Over two-plus years of construction, PennDOT’s contractor has replaced the bridge’s expansion dams; repaired the bridge’s drainage system; refurbished the bridge’s steel structural components; repaired the underside support piers and abutments; repaired and resurfaced the bridge’s deck; and re-surfaced and improved the adjoining sections of Grays Ferry Avenue on both sides of the bridge.

In addition to bridge deck and superstructure repairs, PennDOT has installed a barrier-protected pedestrian/bicycling lane on the eastbound side, and a modular curb system with flexible delineators separating westbound traffic from the painted westbound bicycle lane. The eastbound pedestrian/bicycle lane was tied into the access path to the Schuylkill River Trail beneath the bridge.

Lastly, all existing streetlights in the corridor were replaced, and traffic signals at nearby intersections upgraded, both to meet modern standards.

Work on the project started in late 2018. Buckley Construction of Philadelphia is the general contractor.

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

Commercial product extensions set to expire March 31, 2021

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

This will be the final extension for the following products’ expiration dates:

  • The expiration date for a commercial learner’s permit scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2021, is extended through March 31, 2021.
  • The expiration date for commercial driver licenses scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2021, is extended through March 31, 2021.

Customers with commercial products that are covered by the extension but have not yet been renewed are encouraged to renew their CDL products as soon as possible by March 31, 2021.  No further extensions will be given on these products.

Expiration extension deadlines on non-commercial driver license, photo identification cards, learner’s permits and camera cards ended on August 31, 2020.

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.

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

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. 

Construction Update: Fall 2020

Construction Update: Fall 2020

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.

Notice

PennDOT Installing Westbound Protected Bike Lane in Spring 2021

October 2020 – PennDOT anticipates that a modular curb system with flexible delineator posts will be installed in Spring 2021 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.

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.

Construction Update: Winter 2019/2020

Construction Update: Winter 2019/2020

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.

Wolf Administration Announces Start of Construction on I-76 Viaducts

March 25, 2019

Wolf Administration Announces Start of Construction on I-76 Viaducts

King of Prussia, PA – The Wolf Administration announced today that construction will begin Thursday, April 4, on a project to rehabilitate two Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) viaducts, including the 6,120-foot-long structure between the Interstate 676 and University Avenue exits in Center City Philadelphia and a 345-foot-long structure over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken, Montgomery County.

“Pennsylvania’s ongoing bridge inspection program has been closely monitoring these heavily-used, 60-plus-year-old structures to ensure that they continue to function as designed,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Their analysis of the hundreds of structural components that comprise each viaduct points to the need to address the inevitable deterioration now so as to safely handle the demands of tens of thousands of motorists who use the Schuylkill Expressway each day.”

The two-year project will require numerous overnight single lane closures and full closures in one direction at a time, as well as a limited number of weekend daytime single-lane closures or full overnight closures on either the eastbound or westbound expressway in Center City.

For the first two weeks of construction, the contractor will be working on Thursday through Sunday nights on both the eastbound side and westbound side of I-76 in Philadelphia to clear work zone drainage inlets, complete surveying activities, and perform other preliminary work items prior to the start of repairs on the eastbound side of the viaduct that will continue through the end of 2019.

The contractor’s short-term work schedule is:

  • Thursday, April 4, through Sunday, April 7, from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to a single lane between the I-676 and University Avenue interchanges; and
  • Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14, from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, alternating eastbound or westbound single lane closures will reduce I-76 to one lane between the I-676 and University Avenue interchanges.

No on- or off-ramps within the work zone are scheduled to be closed during these preliminary construction activities.

Under this project, PennDOT will rehabilitate the 289-span Center City Philadelphia viaduct and the three-span Montgomery County bridge over the 2019 and 2020 construction seasons by repairing or replacing the concrete decks’ expansion joints; repairing deteriorated sections of their concrete decks; rehabilitating numerous piers, columns and other sub-structure components; repairing the viaducts’ drainage systems; and repaving the decks with a concrete overlay.

Repairs to the eastbound side of the Center City viaduct are scheduled to be completed in 2019. Repairs to the westbound side of the Center City viaduct will finish in 2020.

Repairs to the structure in West Conshohocken are expected to begin in May or June 2019 and will be completed by November 2019.  These repairs will be done using single lane overnight closures seven days a week between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM.

During repairs to the Center City structure, one side of the expressway at a time will be reduced to a single lane or closed completely overnight. In addition, one side of the expressway at a time will be reduced to a single lane during weekend daytime hours a minimum of ten times eastbound (in 2019) and ten times westbound (2020) on non-holiday and select weekends.

Allowable times for these restrictions are as follows:

Weekday Nighttime Single Lane Closures Eastbound or Westbound


  • Monday nights through Friday mornings: 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM

Weekday Nighttime Full Closures Eastbound or Westbound


  • Monday nights through Friday mornings: 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM

Weekend Nighttime Single Lane Closures Eastbound or Westbound

  • Friday nights through Sunday mornings: 9:00 PM to 10:00 AM
  • Sunday nights through Monday mornings: 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM

Weekend Daytime Single Lane Closures Eastbound*


  • Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM to Saturday nights at 10:00 PM
  • Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM to Sunday nights at 9:00 PM

Weekend Nighttime Full Closures Eastbound**

  • Friday nights at 11:00 PM through Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Saturday nights at 10:00 PM through Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • 
Sunday nights at 9:00 PM through Monday mornings at 5:00 AM

Weekend Daytime Single Lane Closures Westbound*


  • Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM to Saturday nights at 10:00 PM
  • 
Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM to Sunday nights at 11:00 PM

Weekend Nighttime Full Closures Westbound**


  • Friday nights at 11:00 PM through Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Saturday nights at 10:00 PM through Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Sunday nights at 11:00 PM through Monday mornings at 5:00 AM

* Maximum allowable weekend daytime single lane closures is ten times eastbound and ten times westbound.
** Anticipated weekend overnight full closures is ten times eastbound and ten times westbound.

Overnight right lane and shoulder closures also may occur on the westbound side throughout 2019 and 2020 for construction activities to repair support columns on the underside of the viaduct.

In addition, on and off ramps within the Center City work zone will be closed and detoured in coordination with the scheduled lane restrictions and full closures. Ramps that will be impacted include:

  • University Avenue/Exit 346B Westbound On Ramp
  • University Avenue/Exit 346B Eastbound Off Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346 Eastbound On Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346A Westbound On Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346A Westbound Off Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346A Eastbound Off Ramp
  • Walnut Street/Exit 345 Eastbound On Ramp
  • I-676/Vine Street Expressway/Exit 344 Westbound Off Ramp

Information about the project, including each week’s planned lane restrictions and/or closings, is available at the project website: www.i76viaduct.com.

J.D. Eckman of Atglen, Chester County, is the general contractor on the 100 percent federally-funded project.