Part of Schuylkill Expressway eastbound closed all weekend for construction

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced closure and detour plans Friday in preparation for weekend construction on I-76 East near Center City.

The department says a section of the highway between 30th Street and South Street interchanges will be rerouted beginning at 11 p.m. Friday and ending at 5 a.m. Monday. During this time, crews will work to repave and repair sections of the Schuylkill Expressway viaduct.

In preparation for the closure, I-76 East will be reduced to a single lane from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

At the time of the closure, the department says motorists will be directed to use the following routes:

- Follow eastbound I-676 to southbound Interstate 95 to access I-76; or 

- Exit at 30th Street, follow 30th Street around the station, turn right on Market Street, left on 38th Street and straight on University Avenue to 34th Street to access the ramp to eastbound I-76. 

The following ramps will be closed and detoured for the duration of the construction: 

- Westbound I-676 ramp to eastbound I-76. I-676 motorists will be detoured west on I-76 to the Montgomery Drive/West River Drive exit, then take the ramp to eastbound I-76 and follow the detour at 30th Street; and

- Walnut Street ramp to eastbound I-76. Motorists will be directed to follow Walnut Street, turn left on 38th Street and go straight on University Avenue to 34th Street and the ramp to eastbound I-76. 

The department notes that similar construction will take place next week on the westbound side of I-76. During this time, the eastbound side will additionally be reduced to one lane overnight for painting and demolition.

Weather permitting, the department says they plan to close the westbound side Monday, Sept. 16 to Friday, Sept. 20. The closure will begin by reducing the westbound side to a single lane from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., then completely closing the road from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. 

The department says crews will instruct motorists to exit at 30th Street and follow Schuylkill Avenue to the ramp for westbound I-76 or to eastbound I-676.

The highway will reopen on Monday morning, but there will be periodic and short-term closures of the deceleration lane on I-76 West approaching the ramp to 30th Street.

Beginning Tuesday and ending Friday, the highway will be reduced to a single lane between I-676 and South Street from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

PennDOT says motorists should expect heavy traffic delays and should use an alternative route or allow extra time when traveling through work areas.