Wednesday, September 17, 2008

South Street Bridge Update

An email message was sent out late this afternoon by Jim Campbell and Marcia Wilkoff of the South Street Bridge Coalition. A compromise has been reached between the Coalition, the Streets Department and PennDOT.

These issues were included in the original bid documents:

Turning Radii at Schuylkill Expressway Ramps - Turning radii were reduced from earlier designs to 33/36/36/42-ft. corners which are the minimum that can be accomplished under Federal Highway Administration requirements.

Bicycle Safe Roadway Grates - Bicycle safe grates that have adequate inlet capacity will be used.

Translucent Barriers - Translucent proprietary “Quilite” panels will be installed at the electrified railroad crossings to increase natural lighting.

The City of Philadelphia is releasing an addendum to the bid package for the South Street Bridge Reconstruction Project. This addendum includes many of the changes that were agreed upon by the City of Philadelphia and the South Street Bridge Coalition:

Vehicle Lane Design – A four-lane traffic design will replace the five-lane design.

Crosswalk at Schuylkill River Park – An additional crosswalk with a pedestrian activated traffic signal will be added at the ramp and stair from the Bridge down to the Schuylkill River Park. The traffic signal will be portal mounted above the roadway. The curb ramps at this crosswalk will be widened to 6-ft. on both sides of the Bridge to allow multiple bicyclists to simultaneously cross and access the bicycle lanes.

Speed Limit – The posted speed limit for the entire Bridge and viaduct will be reduced to 25 MPH.

Bicycle Lanes – Bicycle lanes have been widened as a result of the reduction in the number of vehicle lanes.

Advanced Bicycle Stop Bars – Bicycle stop bars will be advanced to allow bicyclists to get ahead of motorists for greater visibility and safety.

Lighting – Pedestrian style lights will be installed. The majority of the bridge lighting will be sidewalk mounted at the curb. All light standards will include mounting brackets for future banner placement.

Signal Timings –Traffic signal timings have been optimized for pedestrian movements and safety.

Reflective Pavement Markers – Reflective pavement markers will be installed at the curve on the east side to improve roadway visibility.

Sidewalk Surface – The sidewalks will be scored and tinted to resemble grey slate pavers.

Roadway Surface – The roadway will be tinted to resemble asphalt.

Guiderail – Decorative vertical elements will be added to the sidewalk side so that the railing appearance is more pedestrian friendly.

In addition to the above agreed upon changes, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has received funding from PennDOT to undertake a traffic study to determine how traffic is dispersed during the Bridge closure.

The South St Bridge Coalition is still talking with the Streets Department and will inform us of additional details and developments as the project progresses.

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