While constructing a major terminal facility in a confined space, service was maintained for 16 separate bus and trackless trolley routes.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has a long history of efficient trolley, subway, and regional rail transportation. However, as the world turns, infrastructures and times change. SEPTA brought in Urban to revamp the Frankford Transportation Center – an essential terminal for rapid transit located in Frankford, Philadelphia. It’s also the last stop on the ‘El’, or Philadelphia’s Market-Frankford Line.
Urban's Program Manager, in conjunction with our Joint Venture Partner, maintained close coordination with SEPTA’s Capital and Operations Departments, the designer, contractors, community, and SEPTA riders. Construction for this terminal was performed while maintaining accessibility and service for the more than 50,000 commuters who pass through the facility daily. The Frankford Transportation Center (FTC) Program consisted of five overlapping projects.
Quality assurance, safety, and community relations were essential elements of the program management services, in addition to the usual tasks that are included in construction management. Urban substantiated the inspection and certification of material before it was shipped to the terminal, as well as the quality of the installation processes. The program required constructing a major terminal facility for the Market/Frankford Elevated line in a confined space with little room for storage of material and equipment. At the same time, service was maintained for 16 separate bus and trackless trolley routes that interchange with the elevated line at the terminal, requiring close coordination with SEPTA’s bus operations.
Except for a scheduled nine-day system outage, rail service was not interrupted. During these nine days, the existing guideway was demolished and a new pre-built guideway was constructed to the west. During Project 3, the Guideway and Systems Contract, a temporary trestle was constructed to support the elevated rail line while a new portion of Bridge Street was constructed below. To complete all tasks within the outage time, construction was performed around the clock. When complete, Frankford Avenue was opened to natural lighting for the first time in 75 years.
The new transportation center features include climate-controlled waiting areas; a four-level, 1,000-vehicle parking garage adjacent to Bustleton Avenue; a renovated historic Bridge Street Station building; a two-story main hall; 7,000 SF of retail space; and escalators and elevators to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The modernized transportation hub is now well-equipped to handle the needs of today’s travelers. Commuters are welcomed by a calming natural light and a comfortable waiting area with retail access. And most importantly, their days were uninterrupted during the upgrade of one of SEPTA’s most vital stations.