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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA adjusts schedule, budget for Market Street Elevated reconstruction

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority revised the construction schedule and projected costs for rebuilding its Market Street Elevated Line, which originally was constructed in 1907.

The project includes replacing and reconstructing six stations, replacing 11,000 feet of guideway structure with a single-column structure to improve traffic flow and building two Automatic Train Control buildings.

SEPTA officials realized the need to reevaluate their estimates during the bidding process for one of five contract packages, according to a prepared statement. Estimates for the Cobbs Creek construction package were about $55 million, but bids came in around $73 million.

After a thorough review of cost estimates versus actual bids, SEPTA officials raised the total project estimate from $420 million to $567 million, primarily because of rising steel costs. However, the project calls for tight windows and leaves little time for error or delay -- and includes significant cost penalties if deadlines aren’t met.

To help accommodate workers’ needs, SEPTA has scheduled five nine-day service outages with two in 2005, two in 2006 and one in 2007 — all in summer months when ridership is lowest. SEPTA plans to operate shuttle trains to accommodate passengers during the outages.

In addition, workers plan to close only one station at a time for six months to complete guideway, platform and station work. The lines two busiest stations will remain open throughout the construction’s duration.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2007.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/25/2002