Vine Street Reborn

by Leo Leonetti, (M.ASCE), Asst. Dist. Constr. Engr.; Penndot, St. Davids, PA,
Oliver A. Hinsman, (M.ASCE), Proj. Mgr.; Michael Baker, Jr., Box 280, 4301 Dutch Ridge Road, Beaver, PA 15009-0280,
Robert O. Eck, Proj. Mgr.; Michael Baker, Jr., Box 280, 4301 Dutch Ridge Road, Beaver, PA 15009-0280,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 3, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


Following decades of controversy and a four-year construction effort that threatened to drive both engineers and local motorists crazy, Philadelphia's Vine Street reopened in January as Interstate 676, a limited-access artery featuring four depressed lanes carrying high-speed traffic. The $225 million, 1.75 mi project by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) involved excavating 1.1 million cu yd of earth in the middle of the city's busiest section, as well as constructing 17 cross-street bridges, 41 retaining walls and assorted ancillary projects. The depressed center lanes run from 10th Street west to 16th, avoiding the cross streets. The lanes rise gradually at Ninth and continue elevated over the other city cross streets to connect with the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, then across the Delaware River to New Jersey toward I-95. To the west, the depressed lanes link with an older depressed section to connect with the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76). Vine Street's six remaining lanes became parallel service roads at the city street level. The project was funded 90% by FHWA and the remainder by PennDOT.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads | Streets | Bridges | Construction management | Traffic management | Excavation | Retaining structures | Rivers and streams | United States | Delaware | New Jersey

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