Martin Luther King Drive to reopen to vehicles Aug. 4, resume intermittent closures

Martin Luther King Drive will be reopened to vehicular traffic early next month after closing it in March of 2020, Philadelphia officials announced Tuesday.

The drive will reopen beginning Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 5 p.m.

Officials say the decision to reopen the road came after consultation with City Council and the successful completion of a number of infrastructure projects including trail improvements, paving, and lighting upgrades. 

"We are fortunate that the closure of MLK allowed the City to address requests for recreational space during the height of the pandemic and at the same time facilitated the completion of a number of needed infrastructure projects such as the trail," said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation, Mike Carroll. "This includes a $1.4 million dollar project to completely reconstruct, rehabilitate and widen the recreational trail, including upgrades to drainage, signage, ADA ramps and line striping, which was proposed before the pandemic and will provide a far safer experience for walkers, joggers and cyclists to continue enjoying the riverbank regardless of traffic on the Drive."

The city also says MLK Drive will also continue to close for weekend recreational use and city holidays, as had been the case before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those closures will extend from Falls Bridge to Eakins Oval starting Aug. 7 at 6 a.m. through the end of October. 

City officials say they'll also look at ways to add more planned closures. 



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