PennDOT has awarded a $311,570,199 contract to James J. Anderson Construction Company, Inc., of Philadelphia to rebuild and improve 1.5 miles of southbound Interstate 95 between Allegheny Avenue and Columbia Avenue in Philadelphia. The project also includes replacement of the mile-long I-95 southbound viaduct and the associated southbound ramps at Girard Avenue.
“This is another major step forward in our long-term plan to reconstruct an aging mainline I-95 in Philadelphia,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards in making the announcement. “This project is also a unique opportunity to integrate the PennDOT Connects initiative and collaborate more closely with the communities the highway serves to generate affordable and sustainable enhancements that will benefit these neighborhoods for generations.”
Construction on I-95 Section GR4 is expected to begin in early spring. Initial activities will include construction of foundations for new piers that will support the new southbound viaduct between Ann Street in Port Richmond and Palmer Street in Fishtown. Early work also will take place at the southbound side of the Girard Avenue Interchange.
Removal and reconstruction of the existing southbound viaduct, as well as construction to replace and improve the at-grade southbound lanes between Allegheny Avenue and Ann Street, is expected to begin in late 2018 once the new northbound viaduct is completed. PennDOT is currently replacing the northbound viaduct at Girard Avenue under the $212 million Section GR3 contract.
Once the new northbound viaduct is completed this fall, PennDOT will shift three southbound lanes onto the new northbound lanes from Allegheny Avenue to the new stretch of highway south of Columbia Avenue, which was reconstructed under the $39.3 million Section GR2 project that finished in 2016.
The southbound off-ramp at Girard Avenue also will be closed at that time for approximately two years to complete reconstruction from the interchange north. The on-ramp from Aramingo Avenue to southbound I-95 at the Girard Avenue Interchange will remain open during its reconstruction.
During the off-ramp closure, southbound I-95 traffic normally exiting at Girard Avenue will be directed to exit at Allegheny Avenue and follow the detour to southbound Richmond Street back to the Girard Avenue Interchange area.
The Section GR4 contract will also construct sustainable enhancements adjacent to and beneath I-95. Among those features are a multi-use trail; low-maintenance landscaping; urban stormwater management devices; enhanced public spaces; LED street and understructure lighting; and thematic formliners for decorative treatment of bridge and abutment walls. PennDOT engineers and planners worked with the I-95 Sustainable Action Committee and representatives from the adjacent community to include these quality-of-life enhancements in the reconstruction of I-95.