Released: April 12, 2022
Delaware County Council joined Senator Bob Casey, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, State Representative Joanna McClinton, and SEPTA Deputy General Manager Scott Sauer at the intersection of 6th and Main Streets in Darby on April 11 to announce that Delaware County will receive $1M as part of the funding for Congressionally Directed Spending Projects throughout the Commonwealth. This money has been earmarked to be used for the Darby Borough Safety Improvements Project.
“Thanks to the funding that Senator Casey worked to secure for Delaware County, critical safety improvements can be made,” said Delaware County Councilwoman Christine Reuther. “The project will result in much needed and long overdue safety improvements for motorists, pedestrians, and trolley riders. The project will significantly improve the roadways, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and warning devices—including new traffic signals and crossing gates—for motorists and pedestrians. Ultimately, it will reduce injuries and deaths in this community.”
The grade crossing at 6th and Main Streets in Darby Borough is the only grade crossing in the nation where an active freight line crosses an active fixed-rail transit line with pedestrians, bikers, and vehicles traveling through the intersection. This poses a significant safety concern for the residents of Darby.
The crossing accommodates significant train traffic from a major interstate freight line, vehicular traffic from two roads, and pedestrian traffic, with several schools and businesses nearby. Throughout the day, residents are driving or walking through this intersection to take their kids to school, grocery shop, go to work, or visit family.
Adding to the crossing's complexity is SEPTA's Trolley Route 11 that bisects the freight rail line, with trolley stops on both sides of the grade crossing. Pedestrians, including school children, have been injured by trolleys and trains at this intersection. In December 2021, six people were injured when a trolley collided with a train at this intersection.
The grade crossing was the subject of a two-phase study conducted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and was overseen by a broad-based steering committee. The focus of the Phase II work was to identify and explore implementation strategies to improve the safety and efficiency at the crossings.
“This funding is possible because for the first time in a decade, Congress is sending federal dollars directly to community projects here in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the Nation,” said Senator Casey. “The $1 million in federal funding will help make this dangerous intersection safer, prevent future injuries and create jobs. I will continue working to ensure federal funds reach Pennsylvania communities that need it.”