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DRPA and PATCO Support National Transportation Infrastructure Day
The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) and PATCO are partnering with SEPTA and 40 other community and business groups as well as transportation advocates at a rally in Philadelphia for National Transportation Infrastructure Day, Thursday, April 9. The rally will focus on the need to renew America’s public transportation infrastructure.
The local StandUp4Transportation rally begins at 9 a.m. outside of Philadelphia’s City Hall at Dilworth Park and will feature speakers including Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and co-chair of Building America’s Future; Congressmen Robert Brady, Chaka Fattah, Michael Fitzpatrick, Patrick Meehan and Bill Shuster, chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and Leslie Richards, acting secretary of PennDOT.
Also among the speakers expected to address the importance of federal support in maintaining strong transportation infrastructure will be Ryan N. Boyer of the Laborers District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia & Vicinity who also serves as DRPA Chairman.
The DRPA, plays an important role in maintaining and improving the transportation infrastructure of our region. Last year, more than 95 million vehicles crossed the Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry bridges, and more than 10.5 million passengers traveled the PATCO commuter rail line.
Here are some important infrastructure projects planned, underway or completed:
- Walt Whitman Bridge Re-decking: three-year, $140 million project, the largest capital project in the Authority’s history, finished on time and under budget.
- Ben Franklin Bridge Track Rehabilitation Project: currently halfway through a two-year, $103 million project to replace the entire PATCO track infrastructure; replace six miles of welded rails and 30 miles of signal, power and communications cable while keeping PATCO operating on a 24/7 schedule.
- PATCO Transit Car Overhaul: updating the interiors of our entire 120-car PATCO fleet, more than half of which has been in service since PATCO began service in 1969; approximately $70 million of the $194 million project funded by federal dollars.
- Ben Franklin Bridge South Walkway Bicycle and Pedestrian Ramp: finalizing plans for the construction of a new ramp for the New Jersey side of the walkway; improvements will facilitate bicycle and pedestrian access between Philadelphia and Camden; encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation; ensure compliance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Federal money from an $800,000 N.J. Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant, will support the estimated $3.5 million project.
“Over the last year, DRPA has clarified our mission and set forth a vision to support our organizational values of stewardship, service and community,” said CEO John T. Hanson.
“An important part of stewardship is collaboration. Therefore, we will eagerly support our regional partners in this effort to unite for a strong infrastructure.”
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