SEPTA is planning a Trolley Route 34 Track Renewal Project in West Philadelphia this spring and summer, according to their Community Update distributed in the neighborhood. The project is scheduled between May 19 and September 1, 2012 and includes a pre-reconstruction and four reconstruction phases.
Pre-reconstruction is scheduled for May 19-June 15 and includes rail welding in advance of construction. Rails will be welded and stored along Baltimore Avenue at four locations – between 41st and 42nd streets, between 50th and 51st streets, between 54th and 55th streets, and between 58th and 59th streets. Trolley service will not be affected during this phase, but parking will not be permitted in the area where rails are stored, with a few exceptions.
Phase I will take place from June 17 through July 7 and will include the reconstruction of both tracks between 40th and 42nd streets, beginning at 40th and progressing westward through completion of 42nd Street. During this phase, the entire two-block area on Baltimore Avenue will be closed.
Phase II is scheduled from July 1 through August 4 and includes the reconstruction of both tracks between 49th and 52nd streets. Phase III is scheduled from July 29 through August 18 and includes the reconstruction of both tracks between 54th and 55th streets. Phase IV includes the reconstruction of both tracks through the intersection of 58th Street and is scheduled from August 11 through September 1.
Throughout all phases, buses will replace trolley service from the 40th Street portal to the end of the line at the 61st Street Loop. All traffic, including buses, will be detoured around the active construction sites. All side streets in the affected construction areas will be closed to through traffic.
Some of the existing tracks were installed as far back as the early 1980s. The street structure supporting the tracks has deteriorated due to water leaks, traffic and the overall age of the street surface, which requires increased maintenance, SEPTA said. During the reconstruction, SEPTA will excavate, renew and pave approximately 7,500 track feet in both directions.
If you have any questions about this project, please call SEPTA Community Relations office at 215-580-7013.