Interstate 676 Pennsylvania / New Jersey

History
West End
South End

Overview

Interstate 676 forms an urban loop through Downtown Philadelphia across the Delaware River to Camden, New Jersey. Along with I-579 at Pittsburgh, I-676 is one of two Interstates in Pennsylvania that do not use exit numbers.

Following the Vine Street Expressway, I-676 travels below the Philadelphia street grid from the Schuylkill River to Logan Square, Broad Street (PA 611) and Chinatown. Emerging east of 10th Street, the Vine Street Expressway provides a high speed link to Interstate 95 (Delaware Expressway). The I-676 mainline navigates along exit ramps and surface streets around Franklin Square to connect with the Ben Franklin Bridge. Drivers along I-676 east are directed onto 6th Street southbound briefly before joining the bridge approach. The westbound direction intersects Franklin and 8th Streets before merging with the Vine Street Expressway ahead of 10th Street.

I-676 & U.S. 30 cross the Delaware River into Camden on the seven-lane wide Ben Franklin Bridge. Tolls are collected for the westbound direction of the span at a plaza located beside Linden Street. Interstate 676 east splits with U.S. 30 as it encircles Downtown southward to Haddon Avenue along a six lane freeway. The route ends at the east approach to the Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76).

High Priority Corridor

Interstate 676 is part of High Priority Corridor 64: Camden-Philadelphia Corridors.

History

The Vine Street Expressway spurred east from the Schuylkill Expressway to 18th Street by 1959. The portion between Broad Street and the directional T interchange with I-95 was not finished until July 1991.1 The Benjamin Franklin Bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1926.2

Route Information

  • East End – Camden, NJ

  • West End – Philadelphia, PA

  • Total Mileage – 6.91

Pennsylvania – 2.16

  • Cities – Philadelphia

  • JunctionsI-76 I-95

New Jersey – 4.75

  • Cities – Camden

  • JunctionsI-76

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-676 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Historically, the Vine Street Expressway represented the northern quadrant of an urban belt system around Downtown Philadelphia. The inner loop included the unbuilt South Street Expressway in addition to sections of the Schuylkill and Delaware Expressways. While the Vine Street Expressway was considered an arduous construction project due to opposition and mounting costs, the South Street Expressway faced stiffer opposition from neighborhood leaders in the communities along the planned route. Ultimately the opposition was insurmountable, and the expressway project was scrapped. A remnant of the scuttled plan is the scaled down exit ramp to Columbus Boulevard from Interstate 95 northbound.

The Schuylkill Expressway southeast into Philadelphia was designated a part of Interstate 80S until 1964. I-680 was also assigned to the Schuylkill Expressway south of Vine Street and across the Walt Whitman Bridge. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike east from Monroeville became a part of newly designated Interstate 76, I-680 was replaced with Interstate 676 in Philadelphia.

As approved by AASHTO on June 20, 1972, I-76 and I-676 swapped alignments between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. Previously I-76 was routed both along the Vine Street Expressway spur and the freeway south through Camden to Fairview, New Jersey. I-676 followed the Schuylkill Expressway southeast to the Walt Whitman Bridge and Gloucester City, New Jersey. The designations were switched as the Vine Street Expressway was incomplete at the time and still many years away from completion.

Highway Guides

West End I-76 US 30 / 30th Street – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Perspective from Interstate 676 & U.S. 30 west
Passing under 13th Street, westbound Interstate 676 and U.S. 30 (Vine Street Expressway) approaches the off-ramp to 15th Street south for Pennsylvania 611 (Broad Street). A modified trumpet interchange connects with I-76 and U.S. 30 west in one mile. Photo taken 06/11/05.
The final exit from the Vine Street Expressway westbound links with North 22nd Street to Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Photo taken 06/11/05.
Interstate 676 & U.S. 30 cross the Schuylkill River west from 22nd Street. U.S. 30 follows I-76 west for 0.75 miles to Exit 342 and Girard Avenue at Fairmont Park. Photo taken 06/11/05.
Two lanes merge with the left side of Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) westbound to West Philadelphia, Manayunk, Conshohocken and King of Prussia. A circuitous ramp loops southward onto I-76 east at 30th Street Station. Photo taken 06/11/05.
Interstate 76 runs south to Gray’s Ferry and South Philadelphia. PA 291 leads southwest from the Schuylkill Expressway to I-95 at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Photo taken 10/12/01.
Perspective from Interstate 76 west
Interstate 76 straddles the west banks of the Schuylkill River from University City northward to 30th Street Station and the Vine Street Expressway (Exit 344). Photo taken 08/30/05.
Exit 345 rises from I-76 westbound at the Walnut Street overpass to 30th Street Station. The Schuylkill Expressway passes below an elevated structure over the ensuing three blocks. Photo taken 08/30/05.
Passing by 30th Street Station, I-76 advances a quarter mile to Exit 344 with Interstate 676 & U.S. 30 (Vine Street Expressway). Photo taken 08/30/05.
I-76 emerges beyond the Exit 344 gore point. U.S. 30 combines with I-676 east along the Vine Street Expressway to the Ben Franklin Bridge. Photo taken 08/30/05.
The entrance ramp from the John F. Kennedy Boulevard Bridge ties into Exit 344 just ahead of the turn across the Schuylkill River onto I-676 & U.S. 30 east Photo taken 08/30/05.

South End I-76 I-76C / Walt Whitman Bridge – Camden, New Jersey

Perspective from Interstate 676 south
A left exit links Interstate 676 south with I-76 west across the Walt Whitman Bridge to South Philadelphia. Succeeding ramps depart in quick succession for Collings Avenue and unsigned Interstate 76C east to U.S. 130 (Crescent Boulevard) north and New Jersey 168 (Black Horse Pike) south. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
The I-676 southbound mainline merges with Interstate 76 east directly 1.3 miles ahead of Interstate 295 at Mount Ephraim and 2.1 miles from the transition to New Jersey 42 (North South Freeway) in Bellmawr. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Perspective from Interstate 76 west
Interstate 76 heads north with six westbound lanes through Gloucester City to the split with I-676 at Exit 2. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Crossing Newton Creek, Interstate 76 turns west onto the tolled Walt Whitman Bridge as I-676 commences northward into Camden. I-676 combines with U.S. 30 west at the Ben Franklin Bridge Toll Plaza in 3.6 miles. The suspension bridge spans the Delaware River west to Old City in Philadelphia. Photo taken 07/05/00.
Perspective from Interstate 76 east
Ascending across the Walt Whitman Bridge, 1.5 miles west of Interstate 76C (Exit 354) to I-676 north, U.S. 130 north and NJ 168 south. Photo taken 08/09/04.
The Walt Whitman Bridge accommodates seven overall lanes of traffic between South Philadelphia and I-76C/676 at Fairview in Camden. Operated by the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), the suspension bridge opened to traffic on May 16, 1957 after nearly four years of construction.3 Photo taken 08/09/04.
Lowering into Camden County, New Jersey, Interstate 76 reduces to three eastbound lanes at the forthcoming exchange (Exit 354) with I-76C east to Audubon Park and I-676 north to Camden. Photo taken 08/09/04.
I-76C spurs east from Exit 354 to ramps with I-676 north, U.S. 130 (Crescent Boulevard) north to Collingswood and NJ 168 (Black Horse Pike) south to Audubon. Photo taken 08/09/04.
Exit 354 departs from the east end of the Walt Whitman Bridge above Newton Creek. I-676 runs north along the Waterfront South area of Camden to the Gateway neighborhood before reaching Downtown. Photo taken 08/09/04.

Sources:

  1. Vine Street Expressway (I-676 and US 30), NYCRoads.com.
  2. “Ben Franklin Bridge, 80 Years of History.” Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (DRPA), press release. July 6, 2006.
  3. Walt Whitman Bridge. Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) web site.

Page updated February 19, 2019.