Walnut Lane Bridge to close Friday for five months

The Walnut Lane Bridge is slated to close for five months beginning Friday. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks

The Walnut Lane Bridge is slated to close for five months beginning Friday. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks

A busy historic bridge connecting two Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods will close for repairs for five months starting Friday.

The Walnut Lane Bridge spans the Wissahickon Creek and connects Roxborough to Mt. Airy and Germantown. PennDOT is spending $14.7 million in federal funds to replace its deck, railings and sidewalks and repair its substructure. Period lighting will also be added to the bridge, completed in 1907.

Some that work has already begun, but building a new concrete deck and installing new sidewalks necessitates the bridge to close to car traffic.

During construction, cars will be detoured over Wissahickon, Midvale and Henry Avenues. One sidewalk will remain open for pedestrian traffic during construction.

The bridge carries 16,810 vehicles a day.

The closure comes roughly a week after the Falls Bridge reopened following two months of emergency repairs.

The 121-year-old bridge spans the Schuylkill River and links Kelly and West River Drives in East Falls. Crews strengthened the span’s existing steel floor beams and stringers beneath the surface after city inspectors discovered rust and corrosion.

A Streets department spokeswoman said a full restoration is planned “at some point” — possibly in the next five or six years.

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