By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Expect lane closures along the Vine Street Expressway in the early morning hours in Center City Tuesday as lane reconfiguration and safety barriers are being set up to prepare for a four-year project replacing seven bridges over I-676.
The bridges over the Vine Street Expressway were built in 50s and will be replaced by fall of 2019.
The construction will not be done all at once. Work starts first on the pedestrian bridge that doubles as a street level park along Vine Street between 18th and 19th Streets. That will be finished by the end of the summer.
"The bridges have reached the end of their service lives, they are more than 50 years old. There are a lot of problems that we see – cracks, broken concrete, deterioration of all kinds," says Charles Davies, PennDOT assistant executive for the Philadelphia district.
Down below on I-676, PennDOT's Gene Blaum says the restriping of lanes and protective barriers will be put in place starting shortly after midnight and lasting until 5 a.m. Tuesday.
"There will be detours in place and that is just the initial operation in preparation for the first bridge that will go under construction in early May."
Work continues in the early morning hours for the rest of the week.
This week's construction schedule:
- Eastbound I-676 closure between I-76 and 16th Street on Tuesday, April 14, and Thursday, April 16, from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m.;
- Westbound I-676 closure between Broad Street (Route 611) and I-76 on Wednesday, April 15, and Friday, April 17, from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m.; and
- Possible eastbound or westbound I-676 closure Saturday, April 18, from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m.
There will be a halt in bridge replacement project for a few weeks in September to make way for the World Meeting of Families Conference and Papal visit.
For the full construction timeline, visit: BridgesOver676.com.
CBS 3 Eyewitness News Reporter Cleve Bryan contributed to this report.
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