The long-anticipated reopening of PATCO’s “ghost” station is getting the help of $12.6 million from the Trump administration.
The money intended for the Franklin Square Station Reopening Project comes as part of a $900 million investment in 55 infrastructure projects across 35 states through a federal discretionary grants program, the Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
"I am proud to join our partners in Pennsylvania to announce funding that will improve mobility and ensure safe access to public transportation for thousands of daily commuters who travel throughout Philadelphia and Camden,” Federal Transit Administration acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said in a statement.
The Franklin Square station is the only project in the Philadelphia area to receive an award. The estimated total cost of the station’s reopening is about $25.2 million, according to the department.
The station, near Sixth and Race Streets, opened in 1936 and was intermittently open before being closed for good in 1979. The Delaware River Port Authority has talked about reopening the stop for more than a decade, with it becoming a priority in 2016.
But the decision means more than just cosmetic changes: The station needs to undergo structural, mechanical, and electrical improvements, and also to become compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Construction is expected to begin next year, with completion slated for 2023, according to PATCO’s website.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey called the reopening an “important project” for the area, while John D. Rink, PATCO general manager, said PATCO was excited to become a grant recipient.
“It is a testament of the importance that the Franklin Square Station Project has to the community and the continued economic development in our region," he said.