Morning Headlines: Vine Street Bridges Slated for Pedestrian-Friendly Makeover

Construction will start in February.

Photo via Google Street View.

Photo via Google Street View.

According to the Inquirer’s Paul Nussbaum, seven of the Vine Street Expressway bridges between 22nd and the former Family Court building at 1801 Vine are set for a five-year renovation that will “make the strip prettier and more functional.” The $82 million project will include 31 new park benches and the creation of a new park near Central Library, which will require the “5,625-square-foot wedge between 20th Street and Shakespeare Park” be capped.

Nussbaum reports the makeover would also result in Winter Street being realigned to intersect with the Ben Franklin Parkway, which will make “new space for greenery and pedestrians.”

There will, however, be a brief pause in construction when a certain visitor makes his way into town:

Construction is to start in February, but it will come to a screeching halt Aug. 31, to avoid interfering with the massive crowds expected for the September visit of Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families.

The project, expected to reach completion on November 7, 2019, will proceed in two stages:

Stage One: February 2015-June 2017. Replacement of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway/20th Street, 19th Street and two pedestrian bridges, and realignment of Winter Street.

Stage Two: July 2017-November 2019. Replacement of the 22d, 21st, and 18th Street bridges.

• Plans beyond just replacing seven Vine Street bridges [the Inquirer]

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Narberth eyes gas station property for public use [Main Line Times]