SEPTA viaduct project to impact thousands of commuters

MEDIA, Pa. (WPVI) -- A SEPTA construction project is underway right now in Delaware County that's about to put a wrinkle in thousands of commuters' plans, and starting next week the agency will be looking for your feedback.

Riders from Media, Wallingford, Rose Valley, and Elwyn learned Friday about what's dubbed the "summer shutdown".

Starting next month, trains will temporarily stop calling at the four stations. Instead there will be shuttle buses to Swarthmore, and a five to twenty minute longer commute.

What they are doing is replacing the aging Crum Creek Viaduct, located just inside the Blue Route, with a new bridge.

SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel explains that the existing 100 foot high steel structure dates to the 1890s.

Knueppel tells us, "This bridge is definitely past its prime. It's 121 years old. Just to give you a little reference point, Grover Cleveland was the president."

Work on the project has been going on for months, and soon the new bridge will be ready. That's why the trains have to be halted.

"First they'll demolish the old structure. Then they will push the new structure over into place," Knueppel said.

That's right. The new bridge - all eight million pounds of it - will slide into place.

They are building the new bridge parallel to the old bridge. In June, when they shut down the railroad down, they will tear down the old bridge and then slide the new bridge into place.

About 1,600 riders a day will lose train service. Starting this Monday SEPTA will be holding a series of five open houses at the impacted stations from 4 to 8 p.m. so riders can learn more about the summer outage.

The shutdown is due to start June 18th. Trains should return the day after Labor Day.

Below are the dates and locations for the SEPTA open house events:

-Monday, May 16: Elwyn Station Open House, 149 Elwyn Road, Media, PA 19063

-Tuesday, May 17: Media Station Open House, 309 Media Station Road, Media, PA 19063

-Wednesday, May 18: Swarthmore Station Open House, Park Ave. and Chester Road, Swarthmore, PA 19081

-Thursday, May 19: Wallingford Station Open House, 141 E. Possum Hollow Road, Wallingford, PA 19086

-Friday, May 20: Moylan-Rose Valley Station Open House, 4 Manchester Road, Media, PA 19063

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