Headlines: Near Tragic Accident Caused by Crumbling 25th Street Viaduct

Planned renovations can't start soon enough, says Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

Do you see that rendering?  That’s what the 25th Street Viaduct in South Philadelphia is supposed to look like once the planned renovation project by the city and owners CSX is complete in five years. It’s pristine, as far as utilitarian concrete structures go. Today, however, is a much different, and nearly tragic, story.

Officials deemed the bridge “structurally sound” just a few weeks ago during the announcement of the renovations. NBC10 reports that a large chunk of concrete fell from the bridge near the intersection of 25th and Dickinson on Friday night in Point Breeze. It landed on the passenger side window of a BMW sedan. The driver narrowly escaped a tragic scene and was “shaken” but not injured.

Phase one, which is supposed to start in June, includes wrapping the bridge in safety netting. After the incident on Friday, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wants to get it going ASAP:

“The incident today shows we should start immediately cause it’s important,” Johnson said. “We don’t want to risk somebody else riding under this bridge and a catastrophe happening.”

A clogged drainage system is being labeled as the cause of the incident. For video at the scene, hit up that link from NBC10 below.

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The historic nature of the home goes beyond the original details. See, Joseph Wetherill was a builder who owned a lumberyard that supplied some of the wood for Independence Hall. Wetherill’s influence in Society Hill runs so deep that he even encouraged the city to build what is now New Market/Headhouse, ponying up $1,000 in 1804 to make it happen. Love yourself some fresh produce from the Headhouse Farmers’ Market? Well, you should take a moment to thank Mr. Wetherill.

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