South Street Bridge project is dragging out

    Just a few months into the total reconstruction of the South Street Bridge, many drivers and neighborhood residents may have already had enough of trying to find another way to cross the river from West Philadelphia.

    Just a few months into the total reconstruction of the South Street Bridge, many drivers and neighborhood residents may have already had enough of trying to find another way to cross the river from West Philadelphia.

    But city officials are still trying to nail down some of the finer design points of the new span. The city has extended the deadline for architectural plans until September, with city officials hoping those plans gain support among city and community agencies.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090507lfbridge.mp3]

    South Street Bridge Coalition head Jim Campbell says the city has worked well with the community, and he supports changing some architectural elements in the plans like towers and guardrails.

    He says plans for the new south street bridge has already been substantially modified to be more bike and pedestrian friendly.

    Campbell: The bridge is more than just a connection to the expressway, it really is a connection between two great neighborhoods: Center City and West Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania. So it’s very important that that connection be strong, and enjoyable, and something that we can all be proud of.

    Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler says structural design plans have been ready to go for months, and the new South Street bridge is expected to open on schedule by November 2010.

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