The Chestnut Street bridge will close — completely — for a one-year period beginning in mid-July.
And in preparation for this closure, for the first time ever, PennDOT is working on a full-scale 3/4 mile bicycle detour that will include continuously-marked bike lanes. Check out the map below:
In the past, bike lane detours were often mostly “Share the Road” closures with some minor spot improvements such as detour signs and sharrows.
The modifications will begin at the end of the protected bike lane on Chestnut, at 33rd Street. Currently to stay in the bike lanes cyclists need to cross from the north (left) side to the south side of Chestnut. PennDOT will be moving the bike lane to the left side to 30th St, no more conflicts at the short term parking lane in front of the Post Office.
From there, bicyclists will turn left on the 30th St Contraflow Bike Lane. A small section is already barrier protected and delineator posts will be added along the rest of the block, and on Market Street.
A new curb cut just has been installed south of Market St at the IRS building.
The detour will use the plaza in front of the IRS to reach the Market St Bridge. Bicyclists may also use the roadway of course but there a green striped track across the plaza that will guide bicyclists who want to avoid sharing the road on Market
At Schuylkill Ave the southbound lanes remain closed, so there will be no conflict with right turning vehicles to get to the buffered bike lane on the bridge. This eastbound-only bike lane will also be protected with delineator posts.
On Market St the bike lane ends at 23rd St, to get back to Chestnut turn right on 23rd. A left side bike lane has been installed.
If you continue on Market St take the lane to access the protected bike lane at 20th St.
The detour route is shown on the above interactive map. When the Chestnut Street Bridge opens in or shortly after July 2020, there will new bike lanes on the left side. Whether these bike lanes will be parking protected or simply buffered depends on the pending state legislation HB 792 and SB 565.