DeLissio updates riders on ‘the Ridge and the Bridge’
Ridge Avenue will be repaved in spring; Walnut Lane Bridge likely to be closed 18-20 months
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16 – According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation executive for District 6, the length of Ridge Avenue from the county line at Northwestern to Dauphin is slated to be repaved when the weather breaks for spring, state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced today.
“With great anticipation, drivers and riders have been looking forward to the resurfacing of Ridge Avenue, which has been a rough ride for some time,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “After the damage caused by last year’s harsh winter, this spring cannot get here soon enough.”
All travel lanes will be open between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be one travel lane in each direction open during all other times. All milling and paving work will be performed between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., and Philadelphia police will provide assistance for safety and traffic control. Travel-lane restrictions or any work that might impede traffic will not be permitted over the Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends.
DeLissio said that constituents’ patience has been appreciated as the Philadelphia Gas Works and the Philadelphia Water Department first needed to address underground infrastructure that required repair along the seven-mile stretch prior to PennDOT tackling the resurfacing of the roadway. She explained that the Ridge Avenue resurfacing project commenced in the fall of 2014 with some base repair at several locations and some minor barrier and median work before ending their operations for winter.
“I want area residents and travelers to know that PennDOT has assured me that additional base repair, milling and the complete resurfacing of Ridge Avenue will resume once the weather warms and spring has arrived,” she said. “The job should be completed by early July and with as few traffic-lane restrictions as possible during peak travel time. The ADA ramp is slated to be completed by the contract completion date, which is Sept. 30.”
PennDOT will remain on call to repair reported potholes. To report a pothole on a state road, please call 1-800-FIX-ROAD and provide the location of the pothole.
Meanwhile, DeLissio said that she has fielded many questions about the closing of the Walnut Lane Bridge. This project will be let out to bid in April. After a contract to proceed is issued, the bridge closure likely will take place in mid- to late May in order for construction to begin. This well-traveled historic bridge will take an estimated 18 to 24 months of construction to complete.
“The Walnut Lane Bridge is in great need of structural repair, and although it will be a tremendous inconvenience to the commuters who travel regularly over this bridge, hopefully commuters will appreciate what a feat this bridge was to construct over 100 years ago and that a piece of history is being preserved,” DeLissio said.
In 1908, at the time of its construction, the Walnut Lane Bridge was the longest and highest concrete arch bridge in the world. At the time, in addition to being a functional means to cross the Wissahickon Creek, the Walnut Lane Bridge was built with the hopes of unifying the communities and cultures of Roxborough and Germantown. It also was anticipated that if more striking construction techniques were used and emphasized, it might inspire reform to the city’s existing corrupt political system. To wit, the view from underneath the bridge has inspired many artists and writers.