Schuykill River Wall Reconstruction Will Prompt Detours for Drivers, Pedestrians

(Philadelphia, December 5, 2016) – The reconstruction of a failing wall along the Schuylkill River will prompt closures to portions of Martin Luther King Drive and the Schuylkill River Trail along MLK Drive.

The construction and resulting detours will begin tomorrow, December 6, 2016 and continue until January 20, 2017, during the hours of 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

During those times:

  • The eastbound (inbound) lane of MLK Drive will be closed from Sweet Briar to Eakins Oval.
  • A portion of the Schuylkill River trail will be rerouted to remove pedestrian and bicycle traffic from the construction area.  That detour will run from Franklin Paine’s Skate Park though Eakins Oval to 22nd street, then down 22nd street to Race street which leads to the Race street trail entrance.

This project is necessary because a section of the existing Schuylkill River wall, approximately 75’ in length, failed and fell into the river on August 23, 2016. Due to this failure, a portion of the retained soil supported by the wall has collapsed into the river, along with the section of asphalt walkway it was supporting.  This condition leaves the area unstable, and the rivers tide and large storms will continue to cause further erosion and damage. Without immediate action the remaining sections of the wall and soil have a high potential to see additional failure presenting a life safety hazard to the public.

The Streets Department and the Department of Parks and Recreation thank residents and commuters for their patience and cooperation during the project.