Crumbling SW Philly bridge to get facelift

CSX, the train company that runs freight through Philadelphia, announced plans Wednesday to upgrade the 25th Street Viaduct Bridge.

The visibly crumbling but structurally sound bridge that CSX technically owns and which carries freight including crude oil regularly has been a focus for locals’ concerns since a January 2014 partial derailment.

Seven tankers at the end of the train, some containing oil, tipped on the rails while crossing the bridge and hung over the Schuylkill River for days.

Following the incident, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson began making calls on CSX to repair the bridge, which was built in the 1920s.

“CSX has agreed to continue coordinating its plans with my office going forward, to be sure that we maximize the safety of this project for the public and workers alike, and to minimize any impact the construction may have on residents and drivers in the South 25th Street area,” Johnson said in a statement announcing the plan.

The multi-million dollar project is set to begin in 2015 and expected to take five years. The first year of work alone is expected to cost $4 million, a CSX spokesman said.

According to CSX, the repair work will include removing parapet walls on either side of the bridge, restoring the drainage system and bridge decking, replacing the parapet walls with new concrete and resurfacing the concrete columns and support structures.

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