For some, Lot #8, located on the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) campus, was a place to park. Others depended on the foodcarts that lined its boundaries or used it to jaywalk. For most, it was an unremarkable sliver of concrete. Now, for all, Lot #8 will transform into Spruce Street Plaza, a memorable, green recreational space, and a safer pedestrian gateway for residents and visitors to Penn’s campus.
In collaboration with Matthews Neilsen Landscape Architects, Urban Engineers (Urban), provided the civil and traffic engineering design for this sustainable, dynamic space centered among the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University City SEPTA Station. Currently under construction, the project is expected to cost $2.5 million and be completed in November 2012.
Spruce Street Plaza will feature a large central lawn, pathways made of permeable pavers, ornamental and shade trees, new benches, and lighting, as well as a signal controlled mid-block pedestrian crosswalk at the southern end of the Plaza. This new crossing will accommodate large numbers of people crossing between the hospital, parking areas, university campus, and SEPTA station. Additional crossing improvements will include median fencing and ADA compliant ramps.
“Although the food carts have been relocated to an adjacent “fresh air food plaza,” people will have something they didn’t have before when visiting these carts – a safer pathway, and a tranquil place to sit down and relax,” said Urban’s Project Manager, Christopher Gubeno, PE. “We are happy to help make that possible.”