DRPA views plans for a pedestrian ramp on the Camden side of the Ben Franklin Bridge

Posted: March 08, 2013

Three switchbacks?

One switchback?

No switchbacks?

Those are the choices for a planned pedestrian ramp on the Camden side of the Ben Franklin Bridge, as outlined for the Delaware River Port Authority board Wednesday.

All three of the alternatives would allow wheelchair users, as well as cyclists and walkers, to use the walkway on the south side of the 1.5-mile-long bridge.

Currently, the walkway on the Camden end of the bridge ends in a steep staircase with 39 steps. The Philadelphia side has a gently ascending sidewalk that leads to the walkway.

One of the three alternatives would be similar to the Philadelphia side, with a ramp that would follow the roadway to the ground at Fifth Street.

That would be the most expensive option, estimated to cost $3.7 million, DRPA engineer Dan Cosgrove said.

The other two options call for zigzag ramps, with intermediate landings, to get pedestrians to the ground.

One, with three switchbacks, would cost about $3.1 million, while the second, with one switchback, would cost about $3.0 million.

An additional $1 million could be required, with any of the alternatives, to widen a 600-foot-long "cattle chute" where the existing walkway narrows from 10 feet to five feet.

Meetings will be scheduled with interested groups and the general public before a final design decision is made, DRPA Chairman David Simon said.

Once a design is selected, construction could begin next year or in 2015.

With any of the alternatives, lighting would need to be improved, because the current lights are too dim to meet modern standards, Cosgrove said.


Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|