by Manuel McDonnell Smith
Are you a SEPTA rider who relies on bus transit in the area of 52nd and Lancaster Avenues? An upcoming AMTRAK bridge construction project scheduled to begin in a few weeks could delay your ride.
To accommodate work overhead, travel on the street below will be affected beginning Monday, July 7. On that day, construction crews will close the inner southbound traffic lane and adjoining sidewalk to travel for a period of four to six weeks. Following that, construction crews will move east forcing the closure of the outer southbound traffic lane for another four to six week period before moving to other areas of the bridge that will see closure of the inner northbound traffic lane and finally the outer northbound traffic lane and adjoining sidewalk. All construction work on the bridge requiring lane closures is scheduled to be completed by December 2015.
No SEPTA bus routes will be required to detour during the lane and sidewalk closures, however the large volume of traffic on 52nd Street that will compressed from two lanes into one will likely cause some travel delays on Bus Route 52, which serves the area every four minutes during peak hours. Additional travel delays may also be experienced on Bus Routes 38, 40 and 43, which use 52nd Street for travel to and from the beginnings of their routes from the Callowhill Depot.
While construction is ongoing, crews will attempt to mitigate any travel delays by adjusting their hours of work. A greater amount of traffic volume is experienced on 52nd Street in the Southbound direction, so construction crews will limit their work and resulting lane closures to overnight hours between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The phases of construction requiring lane and sidewalk closures in the northbound direction will occur only between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. In addition lane closures will be avoided during scheduled evening events at the nearby Mann Center.
Riders are reminded to use extra caution when approaching and waiting at transit stops for Bus Route 52 in the construction area. Bus riders may also want to download the official SEPTA App available for iPhone from the Apple Store. The application provides real-time vehicle location information which can be particularly helpful if buses are experiencing any travel delays during the construction periods. Travel information is also available online at www.septa.org , by phone at 215-580-7800, and on social media by using the @septa_social twitter handle.