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SEPTA Likes Plan to Raze North Valley Bridge

SEPTA likes a proposal for the Paoli Transportation Center that would demolish one bridge and build a new one in Paoli.

Editor's note:  This is a preliminary plan and its selection is part of a three-stage process that was first announced last spring. There are several major components to the Paoli Transportation Center development plan. First, SEPTA, AMTRAK and Tredyffrin Township (acting as the agent for PennDOT) are making preliminary selections of plans for a new SEPTA Station, AMTRAK train lines and changing existing traffic patterns on Lancaster Ave/Route 30 between 252 and Paoli Hospital.

Next, those preliminary plans will be presented to the public for comments and opinions. In the third stage, the plans that the public approves will be finalized and the design and construction phase will follow.

What follows is a news release from SEPTA announcing the plan it wants to present to the public as the second phase of the project. Each segment of the project and its current status can be found on the web at Paolionthemove.org.

Darby Road Site Selected for Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center

PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 13, 2013)---SEPTA, in conjunction with a consortium of stakeholders, has designated the Darby Road Extension Alternative as the preferred site for the proposed Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center.

The Darby Road Extension Alternative was one of three options presented at the October 2012 Paoli Transportation Visions Open House where over 300 residents and community stakeholders provided their opinions on each alternative. After the event, their feedback was compiled and Gannett Fleming presented SEPTA with an alternative analysis report. Both showed the Darby Road Extension Alternative as the best and most favored option. Under this option, the existing North Valley Road Bridge will be demolished and Darby Road will be extended across Lancaster Avenue over the railroad tracks and with a new bridge to be constructed.

“We considered all of the options and opinions presented,” Robert Lund, SEPTA Assistant General Manager of Engineering Maintenance & Construction said. “It was important for us to hear what the community wanted.”

"The demolition of the outmoded North Valley Road Bridge, and the extension of Darby Road, is a smart, community based solution,” Michelle Kichline Chairman of Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors said. “It is a critical first step in the long planned redevelopment of Paoli and the Transportation center."

Located in Chester County the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will be in the heart of the Paoli Business District. It will feature a fully accessible Regional Rail Station that will accommodate SEPTA buses, private carrier shuttle buses, taxis, pedestrians, and cyclists. A large, multi-story parking garage will also be needed as part of the Center. Roadway, streetscape and track improvements are also planned to enhance rail service and improve traffic flow in the area.

“This project is tremendously important to our Paoli community and to the region,” Pennsylvania State Representative Warren Kampf said. “I look forward to working with all stakeholders — especially local residents — and SEPTA on this preferred site. We need to create a Transportation Center that addresses long unsolved problems with the current station, the road network, the parking, the ever-increasing commuter demands and which promises to be a centerpiece of a better downtown Paoli.”

Paoli Station serves approximately 1,300 passengers each day. The station is located along SEPTA’s Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail Line and AMTRAK’s Philadelphia/Harrisburg Keystone Corridor. SEPTA bus routes 92, 105, 204, 205, and 206 serve the station in addition to private carrier shuttle buses that provide transportation to the Great Valley and Chesterbrook corporate centers.

"The Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will be a great benefit to the residents of Chester County," Pennsylvania State Representative Duane Milne said. "The new station will not only allow residents to reach destinations such as Philadelphia or Harrisburg more easily, but it will also benefit the local economy, as well. New businesses will likely open in the area of the new station to accommodate the needs of the many commuters passing through each day. "I am glad that everyone involved in the project came together and made a thoughtful decision on its future location. Having selected a site, now the exciting construction process can begin and this wonderful project will soon become a reality."

“This is a project that has been literally decades in the making and one that will provide a significant boost to our local economy,” Pennsylvania State Senator Andy Dinniman said. “The new Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will be a crucial artery for local businesses, commuters, employees and residents throughout the region, as well as a 21st century transportation hub for the downtown Paoli business district. Design improvements will address issues with the current station, such as parking and traffic enhancements and better access for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. But perhaps most importantly, the project will go hand-in-hand with vital rail-line upgrades to Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor train service – upgrades that mean faster trains and shorter travel times for commuters.”

In addition to SEPTA, the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center project has been guided by a consortium of stakeholders consisting of Tredyffrin Township, Willistown Township, AMTRAK, PennDOT, the Chester County and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commissions, elected officials, residents and the business community. For more information about the project, visit http://www.paolionthemove.org/.

See also: 

Paoli Transportation Center Moves Forward

Pedestrian Trail Could Connect CVT to Paoli Transportation Center

Susan February 14, 2013 at 02:26 PM
While it is still in the planning stages, they'll need to address the intersection of the Central avenue(s) and North Valley road. I don't see anything on this drawing..but that intersection, with the two parts of Central Avenue being offset, is a nightmare. I still wonder if I'll ever see this project complete in my lifetime ;-)
Joe February 14, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Picking up on a comment of a prior blogger: they need to straighten out Central, potentially adding a traffic light in order to achieve their goals. Joe.
marion1 February 14, 2013 at 03:09 PM
If you look at the aerial view of the north side, the office bldg closest to Central and N Valley intersection---it sits on an angle turning away from Central---it was located there in anticipation of straightening Central east of N Valley to align with Central on the west side of North Valley---and how many years ago was it built? If they have any sense at all they will incorporate upgrading that intersection into this plan. A 600 car garage dumping onto Rt 30 and N Valley will be a mess.
Thought February 14, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Why not have two bridges? The area is congested. Roads should be straightened Central Avenue for example. Their plan takes the only straight road North Valley and closes it. Government in action. Once they create the problem in ten years they will need the bridge back. duh?
JCINPA February 14, 2013 at 05:34 PM
E Central Traffic is already too crowded and this plan (without addressing the traffic at 252 and 30) would make this road a clear cut-through to get to the station. The school and homes along this short stretch of road would be overwhelmed. The only hope is that this project takes another few decades to get moving.
Susan February 14, 2013 at 09:42 PM
While they're at it, straighten out North Valley and Swedesford, too. I know, I know, it's not part of THIS project...but if there's any planning regarding traffic issues, that should be included.
Kristin Thomas February 15, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Looks interesting. Aren't there any plans to use or make use of the waste land of space behind homes and businesses on W Central between the tracks? See empty space on map above. Curious.
Kristin Thomas February 15, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Looking at all 3 plans, the one chosen makes the least sense to me. I see the other two plans made use of the empty land I mentioned in my comment above. But I suppose if this is what the community chose and is the most affordable and useful....

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