The City announced earlier this week that it will begin construction on the Martin Luther King Drive Bridge which will include nearby closures on MLK Drive.

In addition, MLK Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic between the East Falls Bridge and the construction zone south of Sweetbriar Drive on weekends starting this coming weekend, April 1-2, to increase recreational access for the public. Closures will occur on Saturdays at 7 a.m. until Mondays at 7 a.m.

The closure of MLK Drive to vehicles on the weekend increases recreational access for the public with a safer experience for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. The closure will offer more space for people to stroll, bike, and enjoy West Fairmount Park on MLK Drive.


MLK Drive Bicycle and Pedestrian Access During Bridge Construction

Trail users can still access MLK Drive between the East Falls Bridge and the construction zone south of Sweetbriar Drive.

The detour route map shows the official trail detour route and an alternative route. The detour routes are for both directions from the MLK Drive Trail to the Art Museum.

From the north, the detour route starts at Sweetbriar Drive and travels on Lansdowne Drive. The route continues on the sidewalks on 34th Street and a sidepath on Mantua Avenue. Trail users can then follow the painted bike lanes and sidewalks on Spring Garden Street to Art Museum Drive.

The City will label an alternate route from the Zoo at 34th and Girard Avenue over the Girard Avenue Bridge to Poplar Street and Boathouse Row. For those traveling from the north end of MLK Drive, the best access to MLK Drive is from the East Falls Bridge.


Why is there MLK Drive Bridge reconstruction?

The MLK Drive Bridge is a critical gateway from Center City into West Fairmount Park. In 2021, an inspection to the underside of the MLK Drive Bridge found one of the connections of the steel framing to be about 75 percent deteriorated.

Philadelphia is starting construction to fully repair the bridge and ensure safe access. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing a $20.1 million investment for the construction.

The MLK Drive Bridge Rehabilitation Project will demolish and remove the existing concrete bridge deck and barriers. The City is also building a new composite concrete bridge deck, barriers, and railing. Workers will rehabilitate the bridge superstructure and substructure and paint the steel girders. More construction will include roadway approach work, street lighting, and ADA curb ramps.

For more information about MLK bridge reconstruction project, please visit the project website.


If you notice any issues with gates and closure during the weekend, please e-mail