Motorists brace for I-76 rehabilitation project

A critical highway passage that gets drivers in and around Center City is about to make Philadelphia commuter's drive a bit longer.

I-76 Schuylkill Expressway construction between 30th Street and University Avenue will reduce Eastbound traffic down to a single lane at night, as crews start a two year rehabilitation project of the six thousand foot long viaduct which carries the expressway through Center City.

The first traffic squeeze runs from 9:00 P.M., Thursday to 5:00 A.M., Friday, and will continue with overnight construction and one lane operation throughout the weekend.

"There's gonna be 20 weekend directional closures tied to this project through the end of 2020. Starting with this year, the project is only going to concentrate on eastbound 76," said PennDOT spokesperson, Brad Rudolph.

While there is never truly a perfect time for construction on a major roadway in the city, overnight would seem to be the most logical time to complete the necessary project.

"That's not too bad overnight. If they're going to do it, do it overnight. The stuff needs to get done," said one motorist.

Weekend construction, however, could pose a problem for Philadelphia's lively nightlife and social scene, but PennDOT says they are prepared for to accommodate.

"There's a lot of events to coordinate with," said Rudolph. "We're working closely with the stadiums, sports teams, universities, hospitals, other large employers in that area."

This is not the only major artery of traffic set to undergo major construction in the near future.

Tentatively scheduled for May or June of this year, crews will handle another project in West Conshohocken over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek.