Say goodbye to Port Richmond's truck eater

A tractor trailer stuck under a railroad bridge on Richmond Street, just north of East Lehigh Avenue, on the morning of April 27, 2010.
A tractor trailer stuck under a railroad bridge on Richmond Street, just north of East Lehigh Avenue, on the morning of April 27, 2010. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 18, 2014

Over the years, firefighters have been called many times to Richmond Street just under I-95 in Port Richmond.

There, where four rail lines cross the roadway, lurks a long-haul trucker's nightmare - a set of trestles with low clearances and a tendency to rip the tops off taller trailers. The solution, more often than not, has been to flatten the rig's tires and gradually ease out the trapped trailer.

All that is going to end, officials said Thursday, but Richmond Street will be closed between Lehigh Avenue and Cambria Street beginning Thursday for about two years to make it happen.

The state Department of Transportation said in a statement that the four trestles over Richmond Street will be replaced as part of a $91.3 million project to improve streets and relocate utilities near the I-95/Girard Avenue interchange.

PennDot spokesman Eugene Blaum said the work would increase the clearance under the railroad tracks by more than 21/2 feet to 14 feet, 7 inches.

PennDot is rebuilding Richmond Street on a new alignment to the east of the existing roadway to make room for a new ramp and other improvements to I-95.

In conjunction with closing the section affected by the trestle work, PennDot will shift Richmond Street traffic onto an already relocated section between Schirra Street and Lehigh Avenue on Thursday.

The new section of Richmond Street will include two through lanes, a center turn lane, tracks for SEPTA's Route 15 trolley, northbound and southbound bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and decorative streetlights.

A long retaining wall with depictions of waterfront-themed images will separate Richmond Street from the Conrail rail yard to its east.


jgambardello@phillynews.com


856-779-3844

@jgambardello

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