R7 station projects revised by SEPTA

SEPTA is looking at revising two station projects along the R7 Trenton line after encountering construction problems.

The two changes, one at Croydon and the other at Levittown, were reviewed by the SEPTA Board’s administration committee Thursday.

At Levittown, the authority has decided to replace a tunnel connecting both platforms with an overpass, complete with elevators. The current tunnel has water infiltration problems, and SEPTA originally wanted to improve conditions for riders.

However, SEPTA officials explained that the water table at the station was higher than expected. That, combined with difficult soil conditions, made tunnel construction prohibitively expensive.

The authority has proposed increasing the size of the design contract, awarded to Gannett Fleming Inc., by $338,025 to take into account the changes. SEPTA expects the overpass will save $3 million in the long run in construction costs and will take less time to build.

SEPTA is also proposing increasing the design contract for the Croydon Station renovations to Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. by $303,645, for additional costs related to the discovery of a fiber optic cable running under the Northeast Corridor.

The firm has to reconfigure the station’s foundations to take into account the cable.

In response to SEPTA Board member Michael J. O’Donoghue’s concerns about the changes, SEPTA officials attributed them to the difficulties of working on Amtrak-owned track. They said they didn’t have information beforehand on either the soil conditions or the cable and that information on conditions necessary for construction along the Northeast Corridor can be sketchy.

In other business, the administration committee reviewed a $2.5 million engineering consulting contract to Timothy Haahs and Associates Inc. for work on the 69th Street Terminal parking garage.

The SEPTA Board’s operations committee reviewed renewed leases to two city agencies, the Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., at the authority’s headquarters at 1234 Market St. Both have occupied space in the building since before SEPTA purchased it.

The committee reviewed several land acquisitions in Bucks County that will enable SEPTA to building a passing siding along a single-track segment of the R5 Doylestown line, allowing trains going opposite directions to pass one another more easily.

It also reviewed an $8 million contract to Penn Detroit Diesel Allison LLC for engine and transmission parts. The SEPTA Board reviewed a sole-source contract with the company back in December, but federal regulators told the authority to competitively bid the contract. In this round of bidding, Penn Diesel was the only respondent.

These and other contracts will be sent to the SEPTA Board for approval at its meeting next week.

Contact the reporter at campisi.anthony@gmail.com

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