SEPTA to replace trolley tracks on Spruce Street between 38th and 40th

September 14, 2017

trolleySEPTA has scheduled a trolley track replacement project on Spruce Street between 38th-40th Streets. The work will begin Monday, Sept. 18 and is scheduled to end on Sunday, Oct. 1.

This portion of track is used when street closures or emergencies prevent trolleys from using their regular routing. The construction is not anticipated to affect service on Routes 11, 13, 34 and 36.

Most of the track in this area was last replaced in the 1950s. The street structure supporting the tracks has deteriorated due to weather, traffic and the age of the road surface. SEPTA will excavate and replace approximately 1,100 track feet and repave the track area. The new and improved track components will make for a smoother and quieter ride. 

During the project, Spruce Street through lanes between 38th and 40th Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles and trash pick-up. Buses will be on detour (go to for more information). Parking will not be permitted in the area or adjacent to the tracks being reconstructed, however, exceptions will be made for those with special needs. Walking access for businesses will be arranged.

Normal construction hours will be Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Weekend work may be required to maintain the project schedule.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Nancy Stewart Says:

    I’m glad that this portion of Spruce St will be repaved as part of the project. But, what about the rest of Spruce St between 40th and 43rd? It hasn’t been repaved since before 1994 when I moved to U. City. If it was it was only on the parts between the curb and the trolley tracks. The paving between the trolley tracks is so uneven that it’s teeth rattling when you drive on it.

  2. J. Scott Clinton Says:

    I agree; the road surface between the gauge from 40th to 42nd is in such poor condition that it can be unsafe for road users, especially motorcycles and bicycles who are forced to leave the bike lane when some friendly person stops or parks in the bicycle lane. Riding on that uneven surface can be unnerving in good weather and absolutely terrifying in the wet.

  3. goldenmonkey Says:

    The 4200 block of Spruce is a terrible mess. Vehicles, including police, SEPTA, and 90% of traffic swerve into the west-bound lanes to avoid the gigantic sink holes in the east-bound lane. Add in all the kids from PAS, PIC, and the Arts League, and you have a recipe for an ultimate tragedy.

    The sink holes are the direct result of home-owners removing their lead water service lines. Philadelphia does provide up to a $5k interest-free loan to have the lines replaced, but when random home-owners do piecemeal, you’re going to have this problem. I can’t imagine the city ever coming up with an actual comprehensive plan so all the work could be done at once, but one can dream.

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