If you were shooting a movie near Center City and you needed to film a scene where someone was getting robbed, you might select the dark and drab underpass under I-95, next to 2nd & Spring Garden.
A few weeks ago, representatives from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation presented their latest design proposal at a Northern Liberties Neighbors Association meeting. The proposed design will feature perforated metal panels with native plant designs to cover our green building-thumb, back-lit by LED lighting that will change color and intensity with the time of day. Hello, future. There also will be hanging fixtures, and an LED strip along the center median, curb bump-outs at 2nd Street and at the El, as well as new signage. Many of the concepts were developed throughout public meetings last spring. Designed by Cloud Gehshan Associates, work is expected to begin this summer and be completed by the fall.
DRWC reps announced plans last year to redesign the underpass with modern technology and modern design to make it safer, more welcoming and extra vibrant. The projects comes amidst the I-95 overhaul and long-term efforts to transform the waterfront itself while redefining Philly's gateway to the river.
It's one of a number of connector improvements happening across city with the goal of really connecting the city and its residents and visitors to the waterfront and simply making it nicer and cleaner. The Race Street connector, finished a couple of years ago now, really led the way. The Columbia Avenue Connector, which leads to the waterfront at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown is another. So we'll be looking forward to our futuristic underpass here at Spring Garden come autumn.