MLK Drive reopening to vehicles this week in Philadelphia

Vehicle traffic will return on MLK Drive starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Monday, August 2, 2021
Martin Luther King Drive reopening to cars this summer
Philadelphia officials say Martin Luther King Drive will be reopening to cars this summer.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Martin Luther King Drive will reopen to vehicles this week for the first time in more than a year.

Vehicle traffic will return starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4.

The date was chosen after consultation with City Council and "successful completion of various infrastructure projects including improvements to the recreational trail, paving, and upgrades to lighting."

The city closed a four-mile stretch of the road in March 2020 to provide more recreational space during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia restaurant mandates proof of vaccination to dine inside amid rising COVID cases

With COVID-19 numbers on the rise, one Philadelphia restaurant has now implemented its own policy when it comes to getting in.

The city also said the time was used to complete a number of projects.

Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll said that includes "a $1.4 million project to completely reconstruct, rehabilitate and widen the recreational trail, including upgrades to drainage, signage, ADA ramps and line striping, which was proposed before the pandemic and will provide a far safer experience for walkers, joggers and cyclists to continue enjoying the riverbank regardless of traffic on the Drive."

The city said MLK Drive will continue to be closed for weekend recreational use and city holidays from Falls Bridge to Eakins Oval starting on Saturday, August 7 at 6 a.m. through the end of October.

City officials said they are also going to:

-Provide training and orientation of partner agencies to support the extension of the closure through to Spring 2022 and to pilot options which include continuous and holiday closures starting in September.

-Evaluate the longer-term sustainable options which may involve procurement of additional equipment and or services over the next six months.