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  • Description
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This is the online document library for the City of Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities TIGER VII (2015) Grant Application. The repository is organized into several topic areas:

  • Description-A brief overview of the proposed project
  • Existing Conditions- Today's characteristics
  • Benefits- State-of-Good Repair, etc.
  • Costs- Detailed costs by section
  • Financing- Funding partners and contributions
  • Supporting Materials- Project Narrative, Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA), and other supporting documentation
  • Sponsor- Contact the project sponsor
Photo: Gray Ferry Swing Bridge Photo: Westmoreland Street Dead End Photo: American Street

The City of Philadelphia will restore safe pedestrian and bicycle access to inner-city neighborhoods by Closing the Gaps on three key breaks within the City’s multi-modal system. This project leverages slightly over $10 million in TIGER funds $24 million in City, Commonwealth, and additional federal resources to:

  1. Reclaim a previously industrial roadway corridor to create a pedestrian and traffic-friendly streetscape in Adapting American Street.
  2. Restore continuous access to Westmoreland Street by removing a hazardous, elevated pedestrian footbridge and constructing a new multi-purpose road and bridge in Over the Rails.
  3. Repurpose an abandoned railroad bridge into a bicycle/pedestrian swing bridge over the Schuylkill River to connect to the regional trail network in Over the River.

The City of Philadelphia has launched the Closing the Gaps project to restore safe multi-modal access to neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia.  These projects are part of a continued implementation of other “Complete Streets” and “Safe Routes to Schools” initiatives already successfully constructed throughout the City.


Existing Conditions- State of Assets

Closing the Gaps replaces or redesigns unsafe gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian network of Philadelphia.  The infrastructure in the area is characterized by abandoned railroads and their lasting impacts on the community.

  • Adapting American Street- This component of the Closing the Gaps is a 2 mile, 2 lane segment of American Street in North Philadelphia extending from Girard Avenue to Lehigh Avenue.  Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) is 5,875 as reported by the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU).  The roadway is characterized by a wide paved right-of-way, on-street parking and few bicycle / pedestrian amenities.  The large paved surface results in significant stormwater runoff that presents a hazard to motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and nearby neighborhoods.
  • Over the Rails- This component of the Closing the Gaps is currently an elevated pedestrian bridge that crosses 140’ of abandoned railroad right-of-way.  Westmoreland Street is a one lane arterial that dead-ends on both sides of the railroad tracks.
  • Over the River- This component of the Closing the Gaps is a 1,000’ abandoned railroad swing-bridge crossing the Schuylkill River, that could, but does not currently, connect to the DuPont Crescent regional trail network.

Proposed Improvements

Closing the Gaps will restore safe connectivity to the network of streets and sidewalks for three neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

  • Adapting American Street- Closing the Gaps will reconstruct the 2 mile segment of American Street in North Philadelphia extending from Girard Avenue to Lehigh Avenue to meet the City’s Complete Streets Guidelines.  Improvements will include the addition of bicycle lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the road as well as on-street parking.  The median will be reconstructed to include drainage / water retention and pedestrian islands.
  • Over the Rails- Closing the Gaps will demolish a hazardous elevated pedestrian bridge / railroad crossing and replace it with a 140’ at-grade, 2 lane roadway facility complete with sidewalks and bicycle lanes.
  • Over the River- Closing the Gaps will refurbish and retrofit a 1,000’ abandoned railroad swing-bridge crossing the Schuylkill River to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian and first-responder traffic.


Population Characteristics

Demographic Characteristics of Neighborhoods within 1/4 Mile of Assets

Census 2010 Block Population Density
Census 2010 Block Minority Percentage
Congressional Districts
Congressional District Map
US Congressional District Map
Summary: Qualitative Benefits

 Qualitative Summary of TIGER Criteria and Project Benefits


How the Project Satisfies Criteria



All elements of the project will increase bicycle / pedestrian safety by separating vehicular from non-vehicular traffic.  The project advances the City’s Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School initiatives.

State of Good Repair

All three components of Closing the Gaps address state of good repair by redeveloping underutilized or abandoned freight infrastructure to close network gaps. If left unimproved, these project areas will continue to deteriorate and threaten the efficiency of the local transportation network.

Economic Competitiveness

Closing the Gaps will improve access in travel nodes where disruptions are present. Over the Rails will provide uninterrupted access for a residential thoroughfare in the Fairhill neighborhood in North Philadelphia. This will open an additional route to SEPTA’s Allegheny rail station for transit dependent commuters by an additional westbound route.

Quality of Life

This project will anchor transformative community changes for residents within the project area by reconnecting neighborhoods isolated from direct access to the greater network.

Environmental Sustainability

Adapting American Street will reduce impermeable roadway surface and install on-site drainage and stormwater retention infrastructure consistent with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) goal of reducing impermeable surfaces.



This project is the product of an innovative approach to filling in system gaps of an intricate multi-modal network. Over the River is a strategic solution to restoring bicycle/pedestrian access through reinvestment in a century old rail bridge. Philadelphia understands the utilization of existing conditions as critical to the solution of transportation issues.


Closing the Gaps is a collaborative solution to transportation issues in North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia. The City worked with federal, state and local partners to coordinate funds and actively engaged citizen stakeholders for community input. This effort has led to planned community investment in four economically challenged neighborhoods.


Summary: Quantitative Benefits

 Quantitative Summary from Benefit / Cost Analysis

Summary Results for All Bridging the Gaps Project Elements with Independent Utility 


Net Present Value

Year NPV is Positive

Discounted Benefits

Discounted Costs

Benefit / Cost Ratio

1. Adapting American Street






2. Over the Rails






3. Over the River






Total Project






Grant Funds and Sources

Funding Source

Total Amount



Other Federal






Total Project Cost


Funding Match

Total Amount

TIGER Funds Requested


Required Match (50%)


Planned Match (71%)


Non-TIGER Federal Funds

Total Amount

Total Federal Dollars


Required Non-Federal Match (20%)


Planned Non-Federal Match (35%)



Funding Breakdown

Availability/Commitment of Funds Sources

Total Funding

Share of Total Project Costs by Funding Source




DVRPC FY 2015-2018 TIP



Commonwealth of Pennsylvania



City of Philadelphia



Schuylkill River Development Corporation



Total Funds



Use of Funds by Project Element


Use of Funds

American Street streetscape



American Street stormwater



American Street stormwater



Swing Bridge



Westmoreland Street



Westmoreland Street



Total Costs

All Component Phases



Contacts for this effort are:
Assembled by Whitehouse Group Inc.- Last Updated June 9, 2015