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City of Philadelphia to Close 25 Miles of Highway to Welcome Pope Francis

Amanda Casanova | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Thursday, August 6, 2015

City of Philadelphia to Close 25 Miles of Highway to Welcome Pope Francis

Philadelphia will close 25 miles of highway in preparation for the visit of Pope Francis in September.

According to the Associated Press, on Sept. 26 Pope Francis will be participating in the concluding ceremony of the World Meeting of Families. He is also expected to attend an outdoor Sunday mass the following day.

More than 1 million people are expected at each event.

"Private vehicles will really not be a viable option," Mayor Michael Nutter said at a news conference.

Bicycles, however, will be allowed.

The state is also bringing in 1,000 state troopers and calling in the National Guard to help with traffic control, according to the AP.

The two-mile long Benjamin Franklin Bridge sees about 100,000 cars during the workweek. It will close at 10 p.m. Friday and remain closed till about noon on Monday. Pedestrian access will be available and the PATCO Speed Line rail service will be in operation.

Interstate 95 will stay open to traffic, according to the AP.

"These roads closures are necessary for public safety, to effectively move emergency vehicles, as well as a large number of buses that are expected," state transportation secretary Leslie Richards said.

Francis is scheduled to leave Philadelphia for Rome at 8 p.m. Sept. 27.

Publication date: August 6, 2015