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South Philly's 25th Street Rail Viaduct Getting First Makeover in 85 Years

By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- After asking for decades to have the massive concrete structure cleaned up, residents who live near a commercial rail bridge in South Philadelphia are finally going to see it get a facelift.

Officials say the gigantic, 1.2-mile, 25th Street Viaduct is in good shape structurally, but it's not pretty. There are also concerns about public safety from crumbling concrete.

William Goetz (third from left in photo, wearing blue-and-yellow necktie), of CSX, the rail company that owns the 85-year-old behemoth, says engineers are still unsure how much the five-year project will cost.

"It's not particularly complicated to do, but it's old," he notes.  "The principal issues are the outer skin and the drainage system."

City councilman Kenyatta Johnson (at lectern in photo) spearheaded the effort to get this done.

"This crumbling bridge has been an eyesore before I had even been born," he said today.

And Johnson says that once the project is complete, it will add to the quality of life for residents who have to look at the bridge every day.

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