Rebuilt pedestrian bridge over I-676 is complete

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The Family Court pedestrian bridge, shown here as construction was wrapping up earlier this month, has reopened.

A pedestrian bridge over I-676 has been rebuilt, the latest step in the effort to repair aging bridges over the busy highway.

Work has finished on the span between 18th and 19th Streets, known as the Family Court Bridge because it connects Logan Square and the former Family Court building, according to PennDot.

The bridge, which had been closed for construction since September 2015, had been set to reopen Friday morning. A PennDot spokesman said Friday afternoon that a city inspection would be done before it officially opens, which is expected to happen next week.

The bridge, built during the 1950s, was repaired as part of PennDot’s $64.8 million project to rebuild seven deteriorated spans over the Vine Street Expressway. The reconstruction included revamping the public area near the span, including adding planter boxes with flowers and grasses, decorative lighting, ornamental fencing, and polished granite benches around an oval lawn, PennDot said.

Family Court is now located in a new building at 15th and Arch Streets that opened in October 2014. A boutique hotel is planned for the former court site at 18th and Vine Streets.

Another new pedestrian bridge over the Vine, between 19th and 20th Streets, and the expanded public space are expected to open this month, according to PennDot.

The 19th Street Bridge reopened to traffic this spring, while four others remain under under construction. Construction on the 18th Street Bridge, the last of the bridges to undergo work, began last month.

As work continues, I-676 will be shut down overnight four times next week.

The expressway will be closed between the I-76 and Broad Street interchanges from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Monday through Thursday.

Construction work on the bridges started in April 2015 and is expected to conclude in in November 2018.

More information about the project is at bridgesover676.com.

This story has been updated to note that the bridge did not open as planned Friday morning and that a city inspection is expected before an official opening next week.