On Friday, September 9, the City of Philadelphia Division of Aviation, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and local and elected officials gathered on Philadelphia International Airport's (PHL) Terminal D/E Regional Rail platform for a ground-breaking ceremony for the SEPTA Platform Rehabilitation project. Joining Airport Interim CEO Keith Brune and Deputy Director of Aviation- Capital Development Api Appulingam were PA State Senator Timothy Kearney (Pa. District 26), State Representative Regina Young (Pa District 185), SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards and Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Joe Heller.
"Philadelphia is fortunate to have a rail line that connects directly to our terminals. In just about 30 minutes, passengers can travel between Center City and the airport- and make connections to other destinations across the Greater Philadelphia region. Only a handful of major airports are able to offer this amenity to its passengers," said Brune. "The Airport Line is also important for bringing employees to work- from our Division of Aviation employees that live all over the city, to flight crews and concessions staff. Driving is not possible for many of these folks. Having reliable mass transit makes working at the airport a viable option."
The project received two grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: $500,000 from the PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund and $424,900 from the PennDOT Bureau of Aviation Grant Program.
“We appreciate SEPTA’s ongoing partnership with us, and we thank our elected officials and PennDOT for recognizing the need for this work and awarding these grants to PHL,” said Appulingam.
Significant improvements are currently underway for PHL’s Airport Line stations. This two-year project will substantially enhance the appearance and functionality of each of the airport’s rail platforms.
“The improvements planned as part of this project will enhance the travel experience for the millions of visitors who fly to Philadelphia each year for tourism and business,” said Richards. “The rehabbed platforms and passenger waiting areas… and new lighting… will create a welcoming new transit gateway for travelers continuing to destinations throughout our region.”
The project includes the rehabilitation of the platform surface and canopies, which consists of removing portions of the existing surfaces—such as the glazed curtainwall, epoxy flooring, automatic doors, tactile warning edges, center platform roofing, and north platform polycarbonate canopy panels. The construction team will then install several new features while ensuring that the new surfaces match the existing finish of the platforms and walls. Some of the new features will include:
- SBS modified bitumen roofing
- Polycarbonate panels
- Epoxy flooring
- The center platform floor finishes
- The north platform vertical surface finishes
- Tactile warning edge
- The aluminum composite panel
- Metal pan ceilings
Other important reconstruction features to note include significant electrical and HVAC upgrades, which will consist of the replacement of the following:
- Lighting fixtures
- Fire alarms
- HVAC systems
- Air curtains
- Fin-tube heaters
- Roof drains
- Rainwater conductors
- Heat trace and insulation
- New control systems
The project also includes the installation of nearly 700 new LED light fixtures; as a result the platforms will benefit from a 73% reduction in lighting power.
The project is designed to minimize construction effects on SEPTA and PHL’s passengers without affecting the train schedule. Most of the work will occur during nighttime shutdowns, thus minimizing daytime work. Project Manager Vincent Adamo and his team are all aboard to begin construction this month and conclude by summer 2024.