Philadelphia Replacing 7 Bridges Above Vine Street Expressway
Nussbaum reports that construction is scheduled to begin in February 2015 on the bridges used by "18th, 19th, the Parkway/20th Street, 21st, and 22d Streets, as well as the pedestrian bridges in front of the library and the old Family Court building." The project includes improvements for the "death-defying" pedestrian bridge between the Free Library and the Franklin Institute, new park space, a reconfiguration of Winter Street to reduce conflicts with pedestrians, and new pedestrian infrastructure.
James Pezzotti, a consultant for PennDot on the project is quoted in the article describing the project's planning approach: "PennDot certainly was aware that this is the cultural boulevard through Philadelphia, and it couldn't be done as a pure highway project…"
Nussbaum also notes: "PennDot decided it was too costly and difficult to cap the below-grade highway, much to the despair of those who see I-676 as an intrusive ditch that splits the cultural heart of the city."
"The one area that will be capped is a 5,625-square-foot wedge between 20th Street and Shakespeare Park in front of the library. The cap will be landscaped and added to the park," adds Nussbaum.