South Street Bridge reopens

UNIVERSITY CITY - November 6, 2010

The South Street Bridge actually opened ahead of schedule, but for the thousands of people that have been taking detours for 23 months as the bridge was under construction, this opening has felt like a long time coming.

Those thousands were overjoyed that the link between Southwest Center City and University City is now reopened.

Cyclists and drivers alike enjoyed the smooth evening ride along with the view.

The crowds wasted no time checking out their new bridge Saturday afternoon.

Pedestrians and cyclists got the first look before a reopening ceremony complete with a school choir singing the national anthem and, of course, a ribbon cutting.

The bridge opened with one month to spare and the $67-million project is on budget.

The 1,800-foot long bridge and viaduct had been closed since December 2008.

This new bridge, however, is a far cry from the structure that was falling apart two years ago.

Back in 2006, the South Street Bridge Coalition was formed; it was comprised of elected officials, business owners, and community leaders pushing for design improvements to the heavily used bridge.

The bridge now holds wider sidewalks and bike lanes with a reduction in vehicle lanes.

It is a bridge the mayor believes will be admired for years to come.

"This is a bridge to somewhere and that somewhere is Philadelphia," Mayor Michael Nutter said.

There are still finishing touches to be done on this project including decorative glass towers; those are expected to be complete by June.

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