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I-95 closure coming to Philadelphia this weekend as part of $329M CAP project

Crews close down one lane of I-95 South Saturday morning, full southbound closure to come
Crews close down one lane of I-95 South Saturday morning, full southbound closure to come 02:28

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Closures are coming to southbound I-95 in Philadelphia this weekend, as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's $329 million CAP project.

PennDOT spokesperson Brad Rudolph said the closure will be split, with one lane closing Saturday morning and all lanes closing by Saturday night.

The department will close one lane from I-95 South between I-676/Callowhill Street (Exit 22) and Walnut Street from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Then, beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, the ramp from I-676 east to I-95 South (Chester/Philadelphia International Airport) will close.

From 5 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, all I-95 South lanes between Callowhill and Morris streets will be closed.

Also closing at 5 p.m. Saturday is the ramp from I-95 South to Columbus Boulevard/Washington Avenue. The ramp is scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday.

The closures are part of a major construction project PennDOT is working on with the city of Philadelphia. The bridges at Penn's Landing are being demolished so crews can replace the CAP and build an 11.5-acre park on top of it.

"Now it's time to switch over to the southbound lanes, which has its own challenges being on the neighborhood side," Rudolph said last week. "There's less open space on the west side of the highway to store debris. There's also less room for heavy equipment to negotiate as the existing CAP continues to get smaller with its removal." 

Construction on second round of I-95 closures
Marcella Baietto, CBS Philadelphia

"It's progress," Society Hill resident Robert Levy said. "I'm happy for the city."  

"I think sort of providing an option for people in the city to have a green space extending toward the river is really a wonderful thing," said Mark Schutta, who's an 18-year Society Hill resident. "The process of it right now is a little arduous for all of us."

PennDOT said it will be noisy and dusty, but crews will work as quickly as possible to get it done.  

"It's been a couple weekends, one or two nights in a row where it's constant drilling. And they might stop after midnight, 2, 3 a.m.," Bassel Rabah said. "But listen, they got a job to do, so what can we do."  

Regardless of the long process ahead, many are looking forward to the project including those with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"The fact that this is going to connect Old City to the river is totally amazing and way overdue," said Jim Curry, who is on the Memorial's board. "We just think it's the perfect storm for increasing visitors and awareness."

However, construction has impacted other historic sites and green spaces within the neighborhood.

"The other issue is that they had to move the Irish/Scottish Memorial away from where it was near the dog park and it's now over here, and that was green space that we had that's no longer there," Schutta said.

Officials said depending on how much work gets done this time around, another round of closures may not be needed.

PennDOT has several detours, including the Girard Avenue interchange or Callowhill Street to access Columbus Boulevard. The Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use their GPS to navigate around closures.

511PA is a free and always available tool travelers can use that provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. For more information on the I-95 CAP closure detours, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has an interactive map on its website.

I-95 closure coming to southbound lanes in Philadelphia this weekend 00:32
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