Brownstones? We don't need no stinkin' brownstones!
Monday, August 16, 2010
It seems fitting that a main detour for the South Street Bridge actually is very similar to its departed cousin. The 34th Street Bridge, which connects University and Grays Ferry Avenues, is one of several old city bridges that puts the newer Walnut and Chestnut St. bridges to shame.
Dating back to 1929, it was built as a drawbridge just like the South St. Bridge; however, unlike the SSB, it was never permanently closed. Don't look down A phillyhistory.org photo shows that the bridge has changed very little since its opening- the same, fortunately, cannot be said about the surrounding land.
For now, the bridge serves as a detour for people in Point Breeze and lower G-Ho to get to University City and the Hospitals (and, y'know, jobs); it also is the fastest way to and from I-76. Sadly, the bridge currently has zero (0) SEPTA buses that run across it. This is especially sad when you consider that Point Breeze is finally starting to show some life, and that the bridge could be a connector between the two neighborhoods. My guess is that the 34th Street Bridge will become heavily used right around the time it needs to be replaced. Then, of course, we will be greeted with signs pointing us to the new, improved South Street Bridge:
which, of course, looks a little like a cheaper, uglier version of an old bridge.