Begin Main Content Area

PennDOT to Start $33.5 Million Rehabilitation of Passyunk Avenue Drawbridge in Philadelphia


​The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will begin construction Tuesday, March 29, on a two-year, $33.5 million project to rehabilitate and improve the Passyunk Avenue drawbridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
The 33-year-old drawbridge will undergo construction to enhance its mechanical operation and structural condition. PennDOT’s contractor will upgrade the drawbridge by rehabilitating the motors, brakes, locks and gears, plus the electrical power, controls, traffic control systems and gates.

Construction crews also will repair and paint structural steel, replace deteriorated concrete, overlay the bridge deck with latex concrete, replace expansion joints, reset rocker bearings, repair pedestrian railings, and clean and repair the drainage systems.
Initially, the contractor will work Tuesday, March 29, to Friday, April 1, from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM to repair drainage pipes on the bridge. This operation will require closing the eastbound and westbound right travel lanes on Passyunk Avenue between 28th Street and 61st Street.
On Monday, April 4, crews will work from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning to build crossover lanes at the approaches to structure and to shift two lanes of eastbound and westbound traffic away from the center of the bridge. The Passyunk Avenue drawbridge will be restricted to two lanes in each direction through mid-June while crews work in the median to replace expansion joints and resurface a portion of the deteriorated bridge deck.
During later stages of construction, the drawbridge will be restricted to two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane.
Currently, the drawbridge carries three westbound and three eastbound travel lanes, and two sidewalks. At the end of construction, the bridge will carry two westbound and two eastbound travel lanes, two sidewalks, and two 13-foot-wide shoulders. The reduction in travel lanes resulted from a joint study with the City of Philadelphia, which determined that two travel lanes in each direction on the drawbridge would be more consistent with the Passyunk Avenue corridor.
The Passyunk Avenue drawbridge was built in 1983. The steel-girder bridge has 18-spans, including the one-span drawbridge section. The bridge is 2,240 feet long and 92 feet wide. It carries an average of 20,800 vehicles a day.
Buckley and Company Inc., of Philadelphia, is the general contractor on the $33,527,470 project. Construction is expected to finish in late 2018. The project is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.
Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
For more PennDOT information, visit Follow Local PennDOT Information on Twitter at, and follow the department on Facebook at and Instagram at