In November of 2010, the long national nightmare ended for commuters, and all of West Philadelphia when the South Street Bridge reopened (amazingly) ahead of schedule. In the nearly two years since, we’ve used this convenient piece of infrastructure on numerous occasions, enjoying the pleasure of traveling over the bridge without any of the once slightly warranted fears that the bridge might suddenly collapse. With spacious bike lanes, wide sidewalks, and sensibly designed lanes for cars, this new bridge is clearly the envy of the other Schuylkill River crossings near Center City.
And tonight, at 9pm, the City will officially mark the conclusion of the South Street Bridge project with the illumination of the bridge’s light towers. The towers have still been a work in progress since the bridge reopened, with their completion taking place during 2011. LED lights have been installed in the towers, covered by frosted glass, and they’ve been in operation intermittently over the past several months. If memory serves, they were operating on July 4th, and the constantly changing colors were only mildly distracting as we watched the fireworks.
If you want to be a part of the official illumination (and try to shake Mayor Nutter’s hand), head over to the Weave Bridge, in Penn Park. If you’d prefer to simply watch the towers light up and avoid all the dignitaries, you can get a pretty good view from most other spots in Penn Park, on the Schuylkill River trail, or on the South Street Bridge itself.
Now, if only we could figure out a way to make the onramps from the bridge less terrifying…