If you’ve ridden along Schuylkill Banks within the last couple weeks, you may have noticed something.
The years-long sinkhole that’s plagued the turn underneath the Chestnut Street Bridge has been covered up! This is good news, as the bottleneck effect of the gate guarding the sinkhole has been undone, the sinkhole paved over.
According to the Schuylkill Banks Redevelopment Corporation, the sinkhole cover-up is temporary, and part of the PennDOT project to fix up the Chestnut Street Bridge (that project will also include the extension of the left-side Chestnut Street parking-protected bike lane).
“The existing sink hole (located just south of the Chestnut Street Bridge in the south-bound lane) will be temporarily covered with a steel plate and asphalt during the initial phase. PennDOT has incorporated the permanent repair of this area into their contract and work is expected to take place this winter,” noted the SRDC in a blog post.
In order to complete the project, however, Schuylkill Banks will have to be closed temporarily — probably, according to the SRDC, in the winter.
“There will be a short period of a month or two when a complete closure of the trail will be needed,” they wrote. “A detour for trail users through the street network will be posted. This closure is unavoidable, but is being scheduled in the winter when trail traffic is lower.”
Although the sinkhole’s cover-up is temporary, at the end of the project, it will be gone. The Chestnut Street bulkhead was actually the cause of the sink hole in the first place.
As many are aware, the sinkhole has become a joke of sorts along the path. A prankster put up a poster last year decrying the idea that the hole was being repaired, since it’s been in a state of disrepair for several years.