Interstate 676 or I -676 is a short Interstate Highway in the US states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The highway is located in the metropolitan area of Philadelphia, and runs through the center of that city, as an east-west connection. The highway runs between I-76 in Philadelphia and I-76 in Camden and is seven miles long.
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The Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
On the west side of downtown, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, I-676 begins at a tight interchange with the Schuylkill Expressway, part of Interstate 76 that comes from Pittsburgh and runs through south Philadelphia. The highway then crosses the river in 2×3 lanes and then begins a sunken route through downtown Philadelphia. This section is also known as the Vine Street Expressway. From 16th Street, there are still 2×2 through lanes and the road runs partially under parallel Vine Street. Immediately after downtown, the main highway branches off to the east, becoming a crossroads for Interstate 95. The through traffic here has to go through traffic lights to reach the slope on the slopeBenjamin Franklin Bridge to come. This bridge has 7 lanes, 4 of which go to downtown in the morning and 4 to New Jersey in the evening.
After the bridge you arrive in Camden, a run-down suburb. A toll station then follows, which, however, is only in service towards Philadelphia. I-676 then forks again, with through traffic turning south and US 30 continuing straight to the suburbs of Pennsauken and Cherry Hill. I-676 then runs 2×3 lanes south through Camden, with many vacant lots along the highway where homes once stood, a phenomenon known as urban prairie. On the south side of Camden, the second interchange follows with Interstate 76, which continues south from here to Interstate 295, the highway over the east bank of the Delaware from Wilmington to Trenton.
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In 1926, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge opened over the Delaware River, and Vine Street became a major east-west route through Philadelphia. The Philadelphia City Council first recommended an elevated highway over Vine Street in 1930. In 1945, a six-lane sunken highway was proposed over the same route. In 1947, a small ring road around the center was proposed, with the Vine Street Expressway forming the northern section. In 1949, the highway was approved and work began on widening Vine Street in preparation for the highway’s construction. In 1950, it was proposed to extend the highway to the then-planned Schuylkill Expressway.
Construction of the highway began in 1957. The highway opened on June 30, 1959, between 18th Street and the Schuylkill Expressway. In 1957, feasibility studies began to extend the highway to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. However, there were problems, such as connecting with the then-proposed I-95, several tunnels under the existing route, including a subway line. In the early 1970s, problems arose because plans for 1971 had to be re-evaluated. In 1977 a revised environmental study was presented. Ten years of consultation and procedures followed, when the project was finally approved in 1986, however with a traffic light controlled intersection. At the same time, I-476 was also approved through the western suburbs. The final section in Philadelphia opened to traffic on January 10, 1991, 32 years after the first section opened.
In the late 1940s, a highway was proposed between the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which had been open for more than 20 years, downtown Camden, and sites further south. A route was chosen in the early 1950s, but problems with financing brought construction to a standstill. In 1956, the portion south of the bridge became part of the Interstate Highway system and was eligible for 90% federal funding. Getting the Right of Way began in the early 1950s, with a slightly more easterly route being chosen to spare Camden town center along existing rail lines. The first section of I-76 all the way to Morgan Boulevard opened to traffic in 1957. The last section up to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge opened in 1980 after 3 decades of planning.
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