Officials with SEPTA joined residents Thursday at the dilapidated Wayne Junction Station in Germantown to celebrate the start of a long-overdue renovation project.
The elevated train station at Wayne and Windrim avenues was last rebuilt in 1901 and hasn’t been made-over since.
“We’ve been patching it just to keep it afloat,” said SEPTA’s Rusty Acchione, the station’s project manager.
It shows. Chipped paint and crumbling walls mar the station, but that situation will change during the next three years thanks to nearly $4 million worth of federal transportation grants and bonds. SEPTA will foot the rest of the $30 million price tag.
The three-phase project will restore passenger tunnels and stairways, install new elevators, build a new inbound high-level platform and, among other upgrades, improve signage and lighting.
The station, a hub for five regional rail lines, will also become Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.
“It’s going to bring the station back up to the condition that it should be in,” said Acchione of the project.
Irving Holloway of North Philadelphia is looking forward to having a safe, well-lit station that’s more accessible to seniors.
“This needs to be done badly for us handicapped people that are walking up the steps and everything,” the 71-year old said. “A lot of people come here and they don’t like to come in through the dark tunnels at night.”
Nepoleon Miller hopes the improvements make it easier for fellow congregation members to get to and from nearby Universal Missionary Baptist Church.
“They get off here and go down maybe two blocks and they’re at the church,” said Miller. “They need the train station.”
Full-time construction is scheduled to start before year’s end; SEPTA hopes to complete renovations by October 2014.