Bicycle Coalition

On Monday June 19th, a small group of planners, local decision-makers, and concerned citizens met at the Manayunk Brewing Company to discuss the progress of the bridge lighting project.

Officials were on hand from Philly Parks & Rec, Whitman, Requardt and Associates Engineering, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and Lower Merion Township.

They displayed posters of the project in an open house format. The posters depicted plan views, renderings of different lighting schemes, and a timeline of progress. 

While it is promising that funding has been secured, the timeline for getting the lighting installed is … not great. Right now, we’re looking at an estimated completion date of “Winter/Spring 2019.”

This unfortunately is not what we were able to report in November of 2016. At that time, we were told that the lighting would be complete by early 2018.

Bicycle Coalition

Why will this take so long? Since the funding is federal, the process for approval moves slowly. The project is further complicated by the number of agencies that are involved, and how they are involved in the decision-making process:

  • PECO: They own the power
  • AMTRAK: Co-own the power
  • SEPTA: Owns the right-of-way and is leasing the property
  • Parks & Rec: Need to independently approve the plan because the bridge is part of Philadelphia’s trail system
  • Lower Merion: Their approval is independently necessary
  • PennDOT/FHWA: Has to be approved to make sure the lighting on the bridge doesn’t pollute I-76

Installation of security cameras is also being planned for, but it is not yet clear whether the top 3 agencies listed above will allow such cameras to be attached to the overhead catenaries. We’ve been following the progress of the bridge, and advocating for longer hours.

We’ll continue to do so. Stay tuned!

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