In DRWC’s continued effort to make the waterfront as accessible as possible to all visitors, the Market Street stairs will be replaced with an ADA compliant ramp structure. This new ADA ramp will provide a fully accessible route to and from the waterfront, greatly improving the visitor experience.
The stairs will be closed to the public on August 8th, 2016. Detour signs will be placed to direct pedestrian traffic to the waterfront during construction. The estimated date of completion is by the end of November 2016.
Main Walking Detour Route
Walk south along the waterfront esplanade towards Chestnut Street. Once at Chestnut Street, walk up to the Chestnut Street Bridge using the Chestnut Plaza stairs or the Great Plaza steps. Once on the Chestnut Street Bridge, walk west towards Old City or north along the viaduct to Market Street, continuing west towards SEPTA stops or into Old City. Waterfront residents and visitors can also walk north on Columbus Blvd. to Race Street and walk west on Race Street to access Old City.
Penn’s Landing ADA Ramp Installation FAQs
When will the Market Street ADA Ramp be complete?
You will see the contractor preparing the site for construction throughout the month of July but the stairs will remain accessible. Starting the week of August 8, the demolition of the existing Market Street stairs and construction of the ADA ramp will begin and alternate pedestrian routes to the waterfront will have to be used. Construction will be complete by November 30, 2016.
How will the ramp construction impact access to the waterfront?
This new ramp will provide a fully accessible route to and from the waterfront which will greatly improve visitors’ experiences. While the construction of the ADA ramp will impact one of the access points to the waterfront for a limited time, visitors from all over the city will still be able to reach all waterfront destinations by using Race Street, Chestnut Street, Dock Street, and Spruce Street. Once the ramp is complete, waterfront visitors will finally have a fully ADA accessible access point to Penn’s Landing and other waterfront destinations.
Why is the demolition and construction of the Market Street ADA Ramp starting in August?
While we’re still in a busy season for the waterfront, this is good timing to start construction of the ADA ramp. The new ramp will be made of cast-in-place concrete and construction of the ramp must be completed before temperatures drop too low in late fall and early winter. Starting in August allows us to be sure the ramp will be complete while the weather is favorable and that the ramp will be ready for Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest!
Is the ADA Ramp Installation part of the Master Plan for the Delaware River Waterfront?
In addition to new parks, trails, and private development, the Master Plan for the Central Delaware called for making the waterfront as accessible as possible to all visitors, and that includes ADA accessibility, which is currently lacking. The current stairs are unusable for those in wheelchairs and are very difficult for people with other mobility issues or who have strollers to use.
How will the ADA Ramp construction impact the 17, 33, 42, 21 SEPTA bus routes?
The construction of the ADA ramp will not impact the SEPTA bus routes that currently serve the waterfront. The buses will operate normally and stops will remain the same. To reach SEPTA routes 17, 21, 33, and 42 and the Market-Frankford Line stop at 2nd and Market, use the Chestnut Street stairs to walk up to the Chestnut Street Bridge and walk north on the viaduct to the Market Street Bridge. The SEPTA bus stops will remain in their usual locations on the Market Street Bridge.
Will the sidewalk and vehicular loop between Chestnut Street and Market Street be closed during construction?
No, the vehicular access between Chestnut Street and Market Street will be maintained at all times, as well as the sidewalk that connects Chestnut Street and Market Street.
Will the Scissor Ramps be closed for vehicle traffic?
The scissor ramps will not be closed to vehicular traffic during the construction of the ADA ramp.
Can I walk down the Scissor Ramps?
While they may seem like a convenient walking route, pedestrians should not walk on the scissor ramps. These are for vehicular access only and do not have crosswalks or other pedestrian safety measures in place to ensure safe travel.
Penn’s Landing visitors are encouraged to use Chestnut Street, Walnut Street, Race Street, Dock Street, or Spruce Street to access the waterfront. Please see map below for possible routes.