When the Vine Street Expressway was built in the 1980s, the Chinatown neighborhood was torn apart, forcing families to cross a dangerous multilane local road and expressway to travel to the north or south section of the neighborhood. Houses and businesses were also demolished in the process. Now, 40 years later the Chinatown Community has the opportunity to take back some of that space and make a safer connection between North and South Chinatown.
“Chinatown is excited and hopeful that the next generation will live and work in a neighborhood where the expressway no longer poses a physical and mental barrier to the growth of our community,” said John Chin, Executive Director for Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC).
Earlier this year, the Chinatown Stitch project received federal grant funding through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, enabling the City, PCDC and other partners to accelerate the planning process. We are proud to be a part of the planning committee and look forward to participating in the next phase of this project.
- A two-block concept covering the full block between 10th to 11th Streets and 12th to 13th Streets,
- a three-block concept continuous covering from 10th to 13th Streets,
- and a three-block shifted street concept which includes the covering from 10th to 13th Streets but the westbound surface-level Vine Street is shifted south to run next to the eastbound lane at 11th and 12th Streets.
The project team is committed to hearing from the public and the community. The feedback from Phase 1 directly influenced the proposed designs presented in Phase 2. Residents are encouraged to fill out this survey, also available in simplified Chinese, on the proposed concepts by Sunday, October 1.
Residents can also attend a public meeting on Monday, September 18 from 6-8 p.m. at the Chinese Christian Church and Center (1101 Vine Street) to provide feedback.
The Study has two distinct phases:
- Phase 1: Announced in April 2023, sought public input to develop a project vision and establish project goals based on what the community wanted to see. It also identified preferred locations and types of capping, and prioritized uses of the capped area.
- Phase 2: Using input from the first phase to develop three design concepts for capping locations, the project team will work with the community to identify a preferred design approach that is consistent with the vision and goals established in Phase 1.
Over the next few years, the grant funding will support public engagement, planning and engineering work. These efforts will contribute toward future construction grant applications, as fundraising and project development continue. The City hopes to start construction by 2028, depending on funding availability and the complexity of concepts chosen by the community.
To learn more about the Chinatown Stitch, visit the project page to review meeting minutes and access a calendar of events. If a civic organization would like to request a presentation from the project team at their next meeting, they can do so by emailing OTIS@phila.gov.