With closure of 15th Street bridge, traffic is already piling up

Mike DeNardo
December 04, 2019 - 1:45 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A yearlong detour started Wednesday morning in Spring Garden, as crews began renovations to the 15th Street bridge. And as expected, it’s already wreaking havoc for drivers.

A crane is currently perched in the middle of 15th Street above Callowhill Street, inducing steering-wheel-pounding moments for morning commuters who were caught unaware.

Drivers going south on 15th toward Callowhill will be forced onto Hamilton Street, then onto 16th Street back toward Spring Garden Street, all while the aging 15th Street bridge over the old Reading Viaduct is being rebuilt. Drivers will have to go to Broad Street or 17th Street to continue south toward Vine Street.

Callowhill is now a two-way street between 15th and 17th streets during the construction. 

Road closures on 15th and Callowhill
Mike Dougherty/KYW Newsradio

For School District of Philadelphia employee Jessie Cunningham, the closure of 15th Street is a big inconvenience.

“It's pretty difficult to get to the school district building,” located at 440 N. Broad St. “That's been an ongoing issue, and it's just going to get worse now that they're working on that,” she said. 

“I'll probably go around to the Broad Street entrance, but it's a little inconvenient because it's on the other side of the building from my office.”

Drivers and pedestrians will have to get used to it. The $9 million project is expected to finish in December 2020.