Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the new 40th street bridge, south of Girard Avenue, will re-open to traffic one month ahead of schedule following a noon ribbon cutting ceremony. Mayor Nutter was joined by Councilwoman Blackwell, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler, Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson and other City and State officials in announcing the completion of the project. The reconstruction project replaced an 86-year-old span that had been closed to vehicular traffic since 2007.
“I’m excited to see the 40th Street Bridge completed, especially earlier that originally planned,” said Mayor Nutter. “This piece of infrastructure is a critical component in connecting Mantua and Fairmount Park, and the new design elements of the bridge enhance public safety. I look forward to a similar outcome with the 41st Street Bridge in the near future.”
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said, “The reconstructed bridge lives up to our expectations as a beautiful addition to the community. Its distinct and elegant appearance certainly promotes a renewed vitality to the immediate area.”
Construction work to remove completely and replace the old 40th Street Bridge started in December 2010. The construction contract was awarded to the Philadelphia-based company, Buckley & Company. Construction costs of $11.76 million dollars were financed with 80% Federal, 15% State and 5% City funds. The bridge, which spans AMTRAK’s Keystone Corridor in West Philadelphia, will now reconnect the Mantua neighborhood with Girard Avenue and the Fairmount Park Centennial District.
The new 40th Street Bridge features wider sidewalks, enhanced street lighting, wider shoulder areas, parapet picket fences, and decorative aluminum railroad protective barriers. Architectural concrete finishes, and color coordinated poles and structural elements will provide a distinct and elegant appearance for this important connector. The new 40th Street Bridge will also serve as a service route for SEPTA’s Route 38 and 40 buses and as a detour route for SEPTA’s 10 and 15 Trolley Routes. SEPTA will be announcing that bus service across the bridge will return on November 25.
“Philadelphia’s infrastructure challenges become less of an obstacle when local, state and federal transportation agencies partner,” said Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities. “The Streets Department, in collaboration with these agencies has constructed a wonderful new structure that serves a variety of users, and connects many communities.”
Added Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, “We are proud that the 40th Street Bridge is opening one month ahead of schedule. This is just the beginning of our infrastructure work in Mantua. We will follow through to break ground on the 41st Street Bridge. A community meeting will be scheduled shortly to highlight the design and look of the new 41st Street Bridge to the community. Advanced construction work for the railroad is expected to start next summer.”
The City thanks the community for their patience and cooperation during this project.