At Richmond St. and Girard Ave., just under I-95, a transformation from industrial to, well, multifunctional, is in the works.
An empty building located at 2200 Richmond St., the former Standard Feather Company, will be razed as part of GR1 improvements during PennDOT’s I-95 Revive Project, that stretches along our major interstate built in the 1970s. In March, 2010, PennDOT purchased the building from Lance and Lorin Cole. According to PennDOT engineer Elaine Elbich, who has been involved in community meetings and the project, the Cole’s were looking to move their pillow-making business to a new location or to retire altogether. No word on what they ultimately decided.
When finished, in addition to a realigned Richmond Street, four new Conrail bridges will run over Richmond Street near Lehigh Ave. Where the Standard Feather building sits now, Richmond St. will be widened and there will be a will be a streetscaped pedestrian walkway and a bike-lane on the west side of the street. Last year, PennDOT hosted community workshops designed to generate feedback from local residents about how to make best use of the land.
This month, construction is expected to begin to rehabilitate the superstructure of the Girard Avenue Bridge over the Aramingo Avenue northbound spur that was constructed at the interchange during an earlier phase in 2010.
To be sure, there are rehabilitation efforts taking place all over this city, and not just on vacant lots and worn down buildings, but also on our infrastructure. Not only will this project make for better roads for cars, but it should improve the everyday experience for bikers and pedestrians as well.
For a more thorough explanation of the Girard Interchange Project, click here.