Water main-replacement project coming to Ridge Ave. in Roxborough this summer

Despite a scheduled water-main repair project, city officials report that Roxborough’s main thoroughfare will remain open throughout the course of construction this summer. 

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Water Department confirmed that it will replace water mains and fire hydrants along a half-mile corridor of Ridge Avenue.

Stretching from the interection with Shurs and Walnut lanes to Manayunk Avenue, the PWD will replace two existing water mains with a single 12-inch main.

Along with Ridge Avenue, PWD will conduct additional work on other nearby Roxborough roads, including Jamestown, Magdalena, Osborn, Vicaris and Wendover streets.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

The project is expected to start in early July and continue through October.

Why now?

The project was originally slated to take place in 2015, but PWD bumped it up after receiving notification in January that PennDOT intended to resurface Ridge Avenue in the summer and fall months of 2014.

Now, PennDOT resurfacing in the half-mile stretch of Ridge Avenue will occur after the water-main replacement.

Road repairs, which are expected to conclude in December, are part of a seven-mile resurfacing project for Ridge Avenue that runs from Northwestern Avenue to 33rd Street.

PWD noted that the current infrastructure dates back to anywhere from 1876 to 1936. They also reported that 17 water main breaks have occurred along Ridge Avenue since 1984, five of which have occurred in the past six years.

Two sets of crews will complete the work in an expedited fashion, according to the water deparment.

The affected area of Ridge Avenue will be divided into two segments, each of which will be worked on for two months, which the agency believes will limit disruption of traffic, parking and pedestrian access.

The impact

While residents have expressed concern in recent weeks about possible closures along this busy arterior, PWD emphasized that a detour is not expected at present. 

According to project details, the contractor — whose identity is yet unknown as the request for bids go out next month — will be required to maintain at least 10 foot-wide lane of traffic in each direction. Parking will be suspended in the work areas to accomodate the travel lanes.

Rules are also in place that govern the worksite, indicating that no materials will be stored on site and that no open excavations will be permitted overnight. In addition, guidelines are in place to accomodate the needs of local businesses.

SEPTA is currently reviewing its options for buses that run along this route.

Representatives from the office of City Councilman Curtis Jones are planning a community meeting, tentatively scheduled for May, that will allow residents to share their feedback with PWD, Penn DOT and other participating agencies.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal