Philadelphia gets $158M federal grant for Chinatown Stitch project construction

Caroline Goggin Image
Monday, March 11, 2024
Philadelphia gets $158M federal grant for Chinatown Stitch project construction
Philadelphia gets $158M federal grant for Chinatown Stitch project construction

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's Chinatown Stitch Project got a major boost in funding on Monday.

Sen. Bob Casey Jr., as well as Rep. Dwight Evans and Rep. Brendan Boyle, were in Philadelphia to announce a $158 million federal grant for the project.

Mayor Cherelle Parker was also be there for the announcement.

Officials say the money from a "reconnecting communities grant" is going toward the project that will restore the divided community, capping the area here over the Vine Street Expressway.

"Almost 160 million dollars, which will cover the entirety of the project," said Rep. Boyle (PA-02).

Officials say the project will not only right a wrong but that construction will also create jobs.

"Those are jobs that can't be outsourced abroad. Those are jobs that will provide meals and food on the table for Philadelphia-area families," Rep. Boyle said.

"What we are correcting is bringing a community together that is not isolated, not isolated, but one that people across our city take great pride in," said Mayor Parker.

The stitch project will reconnect Philadelphia's Chinatown, by covering two-and-a-half blocks of the Vine Street Expressway, from 10th Street and Vine to 13th Street.

"The plan itself is something people think is a pie in the sky because how are you going to get $158 million to build something like this? I think that's the way people thought," said John Chin, Executive Director for Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.

The city says with more than 100,000 cars passing through the Vine Street Expressway every day, it presents ongoing issues, like crashes, threats to pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and air and noise pollution.

"It's a very dangerous roadway for people to cross, especially our senior citizens and people who go to school here," Chin said. "So to have this project funded, we're going to completely reverse the danger and make it safer for pedestrians."

The cap will be filled with green space. However, it will take a while before this gets going and we see the end result.

Construction is slated to begin in January 2028, and officials say the estimated completion date is sometime in 2030 or 2031.