Platt Bridge closures, restrictions begin tonight

Posted: February 20, 2012

Work on the Platt Bridge, starting tonight, is likely to inconvenience motorists for more than two years.

After a series of overnight closures - at times for the entire bridge - traffic will be restricted to a single lane in each direction through June 2014.

The new one-lane traffic pattern is sure to cause backups and delays, so motorists are advised to find alternate routes or allow extra time.

Also, the speed limit will be just 35 miles per hour during construction, PennDOT said.

The bridge, a popular link to I-95 and Philadelphia International Airport, has been carrying an average of 56,000 vehicles a day on Penrose Avenue/Industrial Highway (Route 291) over the Schuylkill between South and Southwest Philadelphia, according to PennDOT.

The nighttime closures, needed to set concrete barriers in place, begin tonight at 9:30 with both eastbound lanes until 5:30 a.m.

At 12:01 a.m., the entire bridge will close as westbound lanes also shut down until 5:30 a.m.

The same shutdowns - and detours - are scheduled for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Wednesday night, eastbound will have its last complete closure from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

Starting Thursday morning, all eastbound traffic will be restricted to one lane.

Westbound will have more closures of both lanes: from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Thursday, next Monday, and Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Starting Feb. 29, both directions will have no more than one lane open around the clock.

Sometimes, if needed, even those single lanes might be closed between midnight and 5 a.m.

The closures are part of a $43 million project to make needed repairs to the 61-year-old span, originally called the Penrose Avenue Bridge.

Besides painting, the work includes "rehabilitating and resurfacing the center truss spans; resurfacing the concrete approach spans; repairing structural steel; replacing expansion joints; repairing concrete piers; replacing guide rail; and replacing damaged pedestrian railings," according to PennDot.

Pedestrians can continue to use the bridge throughout the project.

Eightypercent of the funding comes from the federal government, the rest from the state.

To check traffic conditions, go to or Call 511 to check highway conditions.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or