Major Philadelphia highway project to reconnect Chinatown

March 15, 2024

The city of Philadelphia will build a $160 million cap over the Vine Street Expressway that will reconnect the city’s Chinatown neighborhoods, create a public park and protect pedestrians. Caps are structures built over a highway that can be used for parks, open space or buildings.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently provided $159 million through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) grant program to get the Chinatown Stich project under way. The funds will enable construction to begin in 2027.

The RCP program is a first-of-its-kind federal program designed to reconnect communities like Philadelphia’s Chinatown that are cut off from economic opportunities due to past transportation infrastructure decisions. The Chinatown Stitch is one of 132 projects that will receive a portion of the $3.3 billion USDOT awarded for Fiscal Year 2023. USDOT allocated $185 million for 45 projects through the program in Fiscal Year 2022.

The Chinatown Stitch will use a two-block design outlined in the 2023 Vision Report. The design includes building two separate caps to cover approximately 2.5 blocks of the Vine Street Expressway. The caps will provide additional green space and safe streets.

The city would provide an opening in the cap for ventilation. Plans include flanking the north and south streets with public parks and buildings. The city will also connect the nearby Rail Park to the east cap. In addition, the city would widen the sidewalk by removing the sound barrier wall, improve key intersections and build a pedestrian bridge.

While the park will feature amenities, the city has not officially decided what will be included. The city will decide amenities during the design phase. These could include basketball courts, benches, play space, athletics fields or open use space.

Photo by Famartin

Adam Rollins

Adam Rollins brings his expertise as a Researcher and Writer to the Managing Editor role for several of SPI's key publications, including Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the latest addition, Government Market News. With a rich background as a freelance Content Specialist, Adam has honed a passion for learning and information gathering, delving into various industries. His research and writing have spanned a range of topics, from artificial intelligence (AI) technology, conservation, and project outsourcing, to managed IT services and software development.

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