UPPER DARBY — SEPTA’s latest infrastructure project in Upper Darby Township was given its official opening Thursday morning.

Leaders of the transit authority, state and federal lawmakers and Upper Darby leaders cut the ribbon to the newly renovated Secane Train Station, a $19.2 million investment to provide better accessibility for all passengers.

Located on the Media/Elwyn regional rail line, SEPTA rider census data from 2017 listed 564 people boarding and 499 people getting off at Secane per weekday.

“From the very beginning our goal for the Secane station project was to build a first-class facility to serve our customers and the community, one that would honor the history and historical architecture of the railroad while offering modern amenities and critical safety features for riders, pedestrians and vehicular traffic alike,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel.

The project has been in construction since 2015. It includes an underpass for passengers to switch boarding platforms, ADA accessible ramps, raised boarding platforms, 90 parking spots (40 permit and 50 daily spots) and a new pedestrian walkway on Providence Road.

A notable upgrade to the station includes more centered platforms between the train crossings at Providence Road and Bishop Avenue. This will help alleviate traffic buildup by decreasing station dwell time of trains to the center of the station that will not let the grade crossing lights and gates from being activated for longer periods of time.

The Secane station upgrade was made possible with Act 89 funds, the state law that provides money for public transit infrastructure projects. The Media/Elwyn line was referred to by Knueppel as the “endangered railroad species list” and these public funds have helped update its service capabilities. Before Act 89, the Media/Elwyn line was on the bubble to be shut down because of needed repairs on the line. Upgrades on the viaducts of the Crum, Ridley, Darby and Cobbs creeks and improvements to the Lenni and Morton power substations have all been improved thanks to public investment in Act 89.

“With sustained funding, SEPTA can continue to make strategic investments in our station and infrastructure assets to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Knueppel.

SEPTA is in the process of expanding service on the Media/Elwyn line to Wawa in Middletown.

Appreciation was given to the Micozzie family for their support in SEPTA’s infrastructure, starting with Nick Micozzie, the former state representative who got Act 89 pushed through the Legislature in 2013, and his son, Tom, the current Republican mayor of Upper Darby whose input in the project was “pivotal.”

“This station would not be this great if it wasn’t for all of the advice that he gave me on this project,” said Knueppel. “The community, SEPTA, and the Media/Elwyn line service owe a great deal to both of them for their outstanding leadership.”

Tom Micozzie said the ability to do such large projects is about the relationships that are made among all of the parties involved. The conversations for development involved the owners of four residential properties and at least one act of holy intervention.

“What happens during this project is the pope decides to come up in the middle of this,” said Micozzie about Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families. “When you had some of those conversations they were tough … and you start to develop trust and to develop relationships. That turning point makes it important.”

Micozzie added, “At the end of the day we have a great train station.”

The Secane station renovation is just the latest to occur in Upper Darby, a major hub of activity for SEPTA for bus, train and trolley routes. In 2013 the Primos Train Station, which follows Secane heading toward Philadelphia, was renovated and dedicated. Act 89 dollars are helping to contribute to a $31 million project to build a 431-space parking garage at 69th Street Transportation Center. That project is expected to go to bid next month. The transportation center’s west terminal underwent a $19.6 million renovation that was completed in winter 2016.

SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale Deon Sr. said financial contributions to upgrade infrastructure are appropriately called investments because they "dividends for years to come."

"Delaware County has been good partners with SEPTA. After Philadelphia its our number-one service area," said Deon. "Investments into Delaware County are very important to us."

PKF Mark III Inc. served as the general contractor on the Secane project with the Lima Co. and Nucero Electrical Construction Inc. providing the plumbing, HVAC and electrical work.


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