Warminster, PA -- More than $2.4 million is on its way to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the replacement of a commuter railroad bridge washed away by flooding in June, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials announced today.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) reopened normal service on the heavily traveled Lansdale-Doylestown R5 line as soon as the bridge was finished on July 23.
This is the second FEMA Public Assistance grant for the bridge replacement, which is expected to cost more than $5 million. The initial payment for $1.1 million in approved work was announced last week, in conjunction with the bridge reopening. Today's $2,435,250 payment is the federal 75 percent share of $3,247,000 for a project worksheet detailing site preparation, steel erection, and pier and abutment construction.
"Now that the bridge is reopened and regular commuter rail service has resumed, we are working with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to process the paperwork and approve payment as soon as possible," said FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh.
Flooding caused by Tropical Storm Allison on June 16 destroyed the 90-year-old bridge over Sandy Run. President Bush declared Montgomery County a disaster area on June 21. The disaster declaration was amended on July 6 to include Public Assistance.
The new two-track, steel-decked bridge will be more resistant to flood forces, since its design allows a proper hydraulic opening.
FEMA's Public Assistance program provides funding to assist states and local governments and certain private nonprofit entities rebuild damaged infrastructure in the wake of natural disasters. The federal agency contributes 75 percent of the cost of each project. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is providing 22 percent and SEPTA the remaining 3 percent.