Urban Fold

Philadelphia's Big Dig?

A team of planners and architects working to revive the city's riverfront recommend mimicking Boston's infamous Big Dig project to tame the I-95 freeway's impact.

"After three days of intensive workshops designed to generate fresh ideas for Philadelphia's languishing Delaware waterfront, five dozen bleary-eyed planners and architects put aside their maps, satellite photos and sketches on Saturday evening, and jointly called on city and state officials to deal with the great highway canyon that cuts off the city from the river of its birth.

Bury it. Narrow it. Put a deck over it. Just get it out of our sight.

Although the recommendations varied in their specifics, the experts who participated in the weekend brainstorming exercise agreed that I-95 was the biggest impediment to redeveloping the seven miles of waterfront property central to Philadelphia."

"Essentially, the planners were proposing a Philadelphia version of Boston's famously expensive and lengthy Big Dig project, which involved building a platform over a highway to create new land for development. One planner, describing his proposal for Philadelphia, called it 'a half-Boston.' "

Full Story: City's biggest block: The great I-95 divide

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