November 6, 2023 - U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and John Fetterman (D-PA) announced $30.5 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to construct a new high-level pedestrian platform at Cornwells Heights Station in Bensalem Township. The funding will improve accessibility and safety for the Trenton Line commuters and Amtrak Keystone Service riders.
“The infrastructure law continues to deliver results for Pennsylvanians,” said Senator Casey. “Thanks to the law, SEPTA will be able to keep commuters safe, help them reach their destinations more quickly, and ensure more riders, including those with disabilities, can access public transit. I led the effort to include accessible transit funding in the infrastructure law and I’ll keep working to make transportation more accessible for all Pennsylvanians.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians rely on SEPTA every day. I’m proud to support expanded transit infrastructure that will strengthen service, help our environment, and boost the local economy,” said Senator Fetterman. “This $30.5 million for SEPTA is a significant investment and will help SEPTA deliver the high-quality transit system that Pennsylvanians deserve.”
SEPTA and Amtrak will match the funding with $11,956,000 and $244,000, respectively. SEPTA will also provide $13,109,000 of other federal funds to the project to round out the $55,809,000 needed for the full project.
The investment is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which aims to make the station more accessible and safer. The funding will also reduce “dwell times” and improve the boarding process.
The revamp of the Cornwells Heights train station is among 25 total projects selected to receive federal funding to improve travel along the Northeast Corridor.
Cornwell Heights will see the installation of 600-foot-high platforms, a pedestrian overpass with elevators, and a move closer to the parking lot which eliminates the need for SEPTA shuttles.
The project is expected to break ground in early 2026 and be completed by 2028. In addition to the $30.5 million in federal investments, $244,000 from Amtrak and $13.1 million from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission will also fund the construction.
What is IIJA and BIL? The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) (P.L 117-58), at its core is a surface transportation reauthorization bill. Every five years, Congress provides state departments of transportation with a new reauthorization bill to maintain surface transportation assets across the nation.
What is NEC? The Northeast Corridor (NEC) Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP-NEC) program was established by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) to expand intercity passenger rail service and improve rail performance by replacing, repairing, or rehabilitating infrastructure, equipment, and facilities as well as reduce trip times, expand passenger capacity, and improve reliability.