Damaged column shuts down Chestnut St. overpass at Penn's Landing

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Large cracks in a support pier has prompted authorities to shut down the Chestnut Street overpass near Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. (WPVI)

Large cracks in a support pier prompted authorities to shut down the Chestnut Street overpass near Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.

A passer-by spotted crumbling concrete Wednesday night and called police, who closed the elevated road.

PennDOT later sent out word through its Twitter account.



"The road was shut down. We understand the concern. We had been tracking it. We weren't alarmed by it," said Charles Davies of PennDOT. "It was an urgent matter, it was not a dangerous matter, it was not unsafe.

The road, which leads from Front Street down to Columbus Boulevard, is closed because one of its massive support columns is deteriorating.

Red 's spray painted on the column by repair crews show where road salt infiltrated and caused the embedded steel to expand and fracture the concrete.

"It's a place where the concrete would be particularly venerable to the action of the elements and to chemical reactions."

The column is adjacent to the Blue Cross RiverRink on Penn's Landing.

A large crack in a support pier has prompted authorities to shut down the Chestnut Street bridge near Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.



It had been flagged last spring by PennDOT for repair, and work was to have begun later this month.

After Wednesday night's discovery, PennDOT engineers decided to keep the elevated road closed and move up the repair work.

While the road is not heavily traveled, Septa busses normally use it to connect to Market Street, but not today as rider Joann Jackson learned from her driver.

"I asked him first could I ride all the way around with him, and he said, 'yes', but then he just told me that he couldn't go that way," said Joann Jackson of Northeast Philadelphia.

Crews began preparing for a temporary steel support system Thursday morning, which should allow for the road to reopen to traffic possibility as early as this weekend.


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