Vine Street Expressway

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reconstructing Philadelphia’s Vine Street – a major at-grade artery with lights and bottlenecks at every intersection – into I-676, a limited-access highway, posed formidable challenges to the engineering team lead by Michael Baker. Cutting a swath 26 feet below a busy city while maintaining traffic for pedestrians and 80,000 vehicles per day was a complex design and construction effort that involved:

  • Extensive community participation
  • Fast-track design of 17 bridges, 41 retaining walls and ancillary structures
  • Relocating a maze of underground utilities
  • Threading the expressway under Broad and Vine, Pennsylvania’s busiest intersection, through a subway mezzanine and above an operating subway
  • Excavating 1.1 million cubic yards of earth

Michael Baker managed the multi-firm team responsible for the final design of roadways and structures, relocation of underground utilities, traffic engineering, construction engineering, environmental mitigation and landscaping.

The newly-designed I-676 is a critical east-west arterial route through Center City that features four depressed lanes for high-speed traffic, six local lanes and 17 cross-street bridges. Award-winning landscaping, decorative noise walls and other “good neighbor” elements enhance the visual appeal of the urban expressway.


“This was one of the City’s most significant and impactful urban public works projects in a century. The $225 million, seven-year effort provided much needed relief for one of Pennsylvania’s most congested highway corridors.”

Robert Eck (Ret.)
Project Manager

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