Completion of bridge rehabilitation postponed—again


The full opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive bridge over the Schuylkill River has again been pushed later, this time to 2025. The bridge, which connects MLK Drive through Fairmount Park West to the Eakins Oval, has been closed since 2020 as part of a project to make repairs to the bridge’s structure, calm traffic, and widen the shared bicycle and pedestrian path.

According to a City spokesperson, an inspection revealed deterioration of the bridge’s frame. “The inspection found that one of the connections of the steel framing was approximately 75% deteriorated. Several other connections were found to have similar but less severe deterioration. Based on that, it was determined best to keep the bridge closed to vehicular traffic until the bridge project could be completed, while incorporating the repair into the design.”

Initially slated for the fall of 2023, the project’s completion date has now been pushed three times. Until the bridge is completed in 2025, MLK Jr. Drive will remain closed to vehicular traffic south of the Sweetbriar entrance.

The proposed (top) vs. current (bottom) state of MLK Jr. Drive bridge. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Streets.

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