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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA to receive FEMA funds for bridge rebuilding

Commuters using Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s R5 line no doubt were pleased July 23 when a Philadelphia-bound SEPTA train cut through a ceremonial banner to pass over the new Fort Washington bridge.

But SEPTA officials were even more pleased to announce that the agency expects to receive 75 percent of the construction’s eligible cost from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), thanks to a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

The original stone bridge was washed out June 16 and 17 by Tropical Storm Allison. SEPTA crews and contractors installed the new bridge in only 35 days — a week ahead of schedule.

The bridge’s construction is estimated to cost more than $5 million; SEPTA expects soon to receive the first $1 million from FEMA. Funds will be administered by Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. State and local sources will pay the balance of construction costs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/24/2001