By Pat Loeb
SHARON HILL, Pa. (CBS) — Septa will get $87 million to shore up its transit systems against the ravages of climate change, through a grant announced today at a flood-prone station in Delaware County.
Local congressmen joined Septa officials at the Sharon Hill station of the Route 102 trolley, where, an average of 12 times a year, flooding renders the tracks impassable.
It’s one of problems the so-called “resiliency” funding will address.
Septa deputy general manager Jeffrey Knueppel says changing weather patterns demand new engineering.
“Thirteen of the highest flood events ever recorded on the Schuylkill River have occurred just since 2003,” he noted. “There have been four FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) disaster declarations since 2010. All since 2010, we’ve had the wettest year, 2011; the warmest year, 2012; and the first and second snowiest years, 2010 and 2014, in Philadelphia history.”
So, the funds will harden and stabilize rail lines in flood zones including Manayunk, upgrade pump rooms in subway tunnels, establish a backup control center in case of power failure, and many other projects.
Congressman Bob Brady (D-Pa.) says it will make the area’s transit system more reliable and safer.
“The resiliency we’re having with the money being put here is why government was formed: for the safety of its people,” Brady said.