This just in:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 4, 2008

SOUTH STREET BRIDGE TO CLOSE

MAJOR TWO-YEAR RECONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN

Philadelphia, PA – Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson announced today that the 85 year old South St. Bridge in its entirety will closed on December 8 at 9:30 AM. The $67 million demolition and reconstruction of the bridge will begin on December 8 and last approximately two years.

Commissioner Tolson stated that, “The existing bridge is structurally deficient and it must be completely demolished and reconstructed. This project represents an important partnership between the federal, state and city governments and is much needed investment in Philadelphia’s infrastructure.”

The South Street Bridge is a heavily used arterial street that also serves as an interchange with the Schuylkill Expressway. Tolson said, “We have recently completed a $5 million traffic signal upgrade project in the impacted area and have repaved and striped alternate routes. However, significant traffic congestion and travel delays are expected. We ask Philadelphians for their understanding and cooperation during this major infrastructure renewal project.”

Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists that normally use the bridge to travel between University City and southwest Center City will be detoured to Chestnut and Walnut Streets. Trucks weighing over 15 tons will be detoured to the Market Street Bridge. Tolson recommends the use of SEPTA’s regional rail lines, Market – Frankford line, subway-surface trolleys and Route 12 bus as the best alternatives to use during the project.