How can I be so sure? Because this is the last weekend anyone will be able to cross the South Street Bridge for two whole years! A sad thing, for anyone accustomed to traveling back and forth from South to West Philly. It has long been rumored that the bridge lacks the structural integrity of modern bridges and poses a potential danger without the proposed reconstruction. The closing then, is probably not news, but be sure to give that bridge a proper send off!
For those who know it, the South Street Bridge has long competed with Spring Garden for the most breathtaking means of crossing the Schuylkill. Many a night have I crossed it at dusk, headed into Center City for a night of shenanigans, when the view of the skyline from that bridge has caught the breath in my chest. It's an iconic vista, to be sure. For a while, a crowd of kids used to hang out on the bridge and hassle other people riding by, but even that I sort of looked forward to because it was too, familiar and very of the bridge. It makes me certain that I'm not the only one in tough-guy Philly to have a soft spot.
However pitted and bumpy, the bridge is lighter on traffic than the other four, slowed by the light at the entrance to 76 unlike Walnut and Gray's Ferry and somehow less prone to speeding drivers than the spring garden bridge at night. If you have no other memorial to the crossing planned this weekend, the bicycle coalition has slated a ride at 8:45 am Monday morning, as the bridge closes to traffic at 9:30. The project anticipates disrupting the commuting route for nearly 1,000 cyclists, and I can't imagine that most of them won't take the chance to ride across it one last time.