Regulars of the High Point Café at the Allen Lane train station have learned to live with the sounds of construction.
There have been window-rattling jackhammers, ear-piercing air horns, and the incessant, high-pitched beep of the steam shovel. For a year-and-a-half High Point customers sat grading papers and eating crepes, pretty much unfazed.
“They’re just troopers,” barista Brandon Morsberger said. “They never complained.” After a year and a half of clamor, the Allen Lane station is finally peaceful.
The construction is essentially finished, according to SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern. She said that SEPTA is waiting for better weather to finish landscaping and painting.
A neighborhood celebration for the completed station is slated for the spring, Redfern said.
What was accomplished
The $6.9 million federally funded project started in August 2009 but was stalled by two rough winters and a lawsuit filed by the lead construction company. SEPTA declined to comment on the status of the ongoing lawsuit.
The renovations included adding ADA-accessible ramps and outdoor shelters, as well as reconstructing the pedestrian bridge built in the 1930s. The only remnants of project are a lone orange and white caution sign and the muddy, grassless patches of earth surrounding the station.
It was important to Mt. Airy residents that the station, designed by legendary Philadelphia architect Frank Furness in the 1880s, stayed beautiful. Morsberger said that at town meetings, there was a lot of talk along the lines of, “The station better be as pretty as it was before.”