Rep. Scanlon Secures Funding for Seven Projects in PA-05 as Part of House Democrats’ INVEST in America Act
The INVEST in America Act will create good-paying jobs modernizing and rebuilding roads, bridges, transit, rail, and drinking water and wastewater systems
Washington, July 1, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) today applauded House passage of the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act,” which includes $20.8 million in funding for seven projects in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District. Rep. Scanlon fought to ensure the projects were included in the INVEST in America Act, which makes transformational investments in America’s highways, roads, bridges, transit, rail, and water infrastructure to create jobs, modernize our infrastructure, and reduce carbon pollution. This legislation puts some of the key pieces of President Biden’s infrastructure vision into legislative text.
"I’m proud to have seven projects included in the INVEST in America Act that will benefit the residents of PA-05 and our regional economy,” said Rep. Scanlon. “Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District is home to Philadelphia’s airport, port, rail yard, and — as a key part of the Northeast corridor — dozens of miles of interstate highways and passenger rail lines, as well as regional commuter and light rail lines that link Philadelphia and its suburbs. The problems facing my district’s transportation infrastructure are not very different from those of other regions across the country. Our infrastructure is aging, heavily used, and in some cases beyond its usable lifespan. State and local authorities simply don’t have enough money to meet basic maintenance needs, much less to make investments in modernization, expansion, or other improvements. The INVEST in America Act will help communities make smart and long-overdue investments in local infrastructure — translating directly into jobs and economic activity,”
The INVEST in America Act includes the following projects submitted by Rep. Scanlon:
The Cobbs Creek Parkway is a state highway that physically separates residential neighborhoods in West and Southwest Philadelphia from one of the city’s largest park systems — including the four-mile, federally-funded Cobbs Creek Trail. The Trail will connect to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge and is a piece of the East Coast Greenway, which connects 15 states from Maine to Florida. This project would include the design and construction of up to five new, safe pedestrian crossings including state-of-the-art features, such as rapid flashing beacons, refuge islands, high-visibility pavement markings, raised crosswalks, full Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, improved lighting, and other traffic calming features.
This project was submitted as a coordinated request with Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-03); Rep. Scanlon requested $1.2 million and Rep. Evans requested $800,000 for a total of $2 million.
The Main Street-CSX rail line grade crossing in Darby Borough is the only grade crossing in the nation where an active freight rail line crosses an active fixed-rail transit line. Vehicular and pedestrian movement through the intersection pose significant safety concerns. The project would improve the roadway, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and warning devices, including new traffic signals and crossing gates for motorists and pedestrians — ultimately reducing injuries and deaths in this low-income, minority community.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is one of the largest economic engines in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Prior to the pandemic, PHL annually served more than 30 million passengers. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Airport Line is one of the main access points to PHL, serving 2.5 million people annually before the pandemic. Appropriately maintaining this asset is vital to the region. The City of Philadelphia’s Division of Aviation has identified several deficient conditions with the SEPTA Platforms at PHL since the last upgrade 18 years ago, which would be addressed with this funding.
SEPTA’s 69th Street Transportation Center Master Plan will study, evaluate, and choose solutions for modernizing, expanding, and improving one of SEPTA’s major transit hubs. The 69th Street Transportation Center is integral to three SEPTA projects of regional significance — King of Prussia Rail, Trolley Modernization, and Comprehensive Bus Network Redesign. It is a key terminal for SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line, Norristown High-Speed Line, Route 101 and 102 trolleys, and 17 bus routes.
The project will enable SEPTA to plan for and anticipate future growth, improve accessibility, and encourage transit-oriented development while meeting the goals of Upper Darby Township, the newly formed Friends of the Tower Theater District, and Delaware County.
SEPTA will refurbish Marcus Hook station on the Wilmington/Newark Regional Rail Line to be fully accessible. This project would entail the design, then construction of new high-level platforms with passenger ramps between the platforms and street level. Completion of this project will make Marcus Hook Station compliant with the ADA. High-level platforms will further facilitate quicker, easier access for 1,132 average boards and leaves there every day, and support SEPTA’s emerging Regional Rail Master Plan, which will call for improvements to the value and convenience of traveling on the Regional Rail network.
Upper Darby is developing a community center at 7000 Walnut Street in a dense urban area of the township. The community center is located between 69th Street and Garrett Road, which are major thoroughfares within the township. The roads connect to the SEPTA 69th Street Transportation Center and the surrounding neighborhoods, respectively. This section of Walnut Street is in need of bicycle and pedestrian improvements to increase connectivity within the township.
The project will provide a safe multimodal street that connects to existing major corridors in Upper Darby. It will include bike lanes, curb bump outs, ADA-accessible curb ramps, and pedestrian traffic signals. Upper Darby will also incorporate rain gardens into the concrete bump outs and street trees to improve air quality.
Implementing a protected bike connection will improve safety, sustainability, and access to jobs and recreation. The project area includes West Passyunk Avenue, from 61st Street to Essington Avenue, and Bartram Avenue, from Essington Avenue to Island Avenue. The current street configuration is obsolete and fails to serve residents and road users safely. Speeding traffic, inadequate crosswalks, and accessibility constraints create unsafe road conditions, particularly for bicyclists.
Adding a low-cost, zero emission, and high comfort bicycle connection allows area residents and residents from South Philadelphia to access major employers along the corridor — including Philadelphia International Airport — and provides a connection to recreation at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
“For too long, Congress has failed to act boldly when it comes to our infrastructure. Now, it’s time to build back better, reconnect communities, and restore our global competitiveness with the INVEST in America Act. With this bill, we are on the right track to create economic opportunity for all in the 21st century and beyond,” added Rep. Scanlon.
On Wednesday, June 30, Rep. Scanlon joined DPCC Cochair Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Conor Lamb (PA-17), and Susan Wild (PA-07) for a virtual press conference on the key investments for the Northeast that are included in the INVEST in America Act. A recording of the press conference is available here.
Read more on how the INVEST in America Act would:
Additional Resources on the INVEST in America Act: