A year after closing, the northbound ramp is now open for River Wards residents
By Lindsey Nolen
Approximately a year after its initial closing during summer 2016, River Wards residents are once again able to use the northbound off-ramp at the Girard Avenue Interchange. Seeing as this exit is the most direct route north on I-95 from Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond, its reopening marks a shift back toward greater convenience.
“The Girard exit re-opening will make my commute so much easier. I work in Northern Liberties and getting on I-95 northbound has been a hassle because of all the traffic and having to use a ramp further away,” said Christine Nolthenius, content manager at American Outlets, Inc. which is located at 7th and Spring Garden streets. “Now that it’s re-opening, it should make my commute at least 10 minutes shorter and hopefully will improve the overall flow of traffic.”
In preparation for this ramp’s reopening, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation stated that it experienced no complications and issued several ramp closures lasting from the evening of Tuesday, May 23 until the morning of Wednesday, May 24 to ensure that its opening would run smoothly. Ultimately, northbound I-95 was reduced from three lanes to two lanes at the Girard Interchange during this time, and crews painted new lane markings and placed construction barriers along the road to crease a temporary approach from the exit to the newly built off-ramp.
“The new interchange provides safer travel for motorists who want to access Girard Avenue and Richmond Street,” said Brad E. Rudolph, deputy communications director 2 of the PA Department of Transportation Engineering District 6. “The new interchange was also relocated to accommodate the new signalized intersection at Richmond Street.”
According to PennDOT, during this overnight operation and introduction of the new ramp, traffic headed toward the northbound off-ramp was detoured to the off-ramp at Allegheny Avenue, then right on Westmoreland Street and right on Allegheny Avenue to access Richmond Street and Aramingo Avenue.
Now that the new I-95 off-ramp is open, workers will begin removing the old off-ramp leading to Delaware Avenue, allowing for crews to implement improvements to Delaware Avenue from Columbia Avenue to Aramingo Avenue. The plan is, after this removal is complete, construction of a new northbound viaduct between the Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue interchanges will commence.
According to PennDOT, this work is all park of its $211.7 million project to rebuild and widen 1.5 miles of northbound I-95 from the Girard Avenue to the Allegheny Avenue interchanges. For more information on I-95 improvement projects, visit 95revive.com.