Renovations of the bus loop on 33rd and Dauphin continue as construction workers began installing the steel structure of the project.
The 33rd & Dauphin Bus Loop Improvement Project broke ground on Sept. 10, 2012, and is set to be completed in March 2014, but the planning phases took far longer. The project, which is expected to cost $4.4 million, is a much- needed improvement on a station that opened in 1901, Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corp. President Tonnetta Graham said.
“Our struggle was for [SEPTA] not to tear that barn down and for them to give us something that looks similar to it, modern enough to meet their needs,” Graham said.
“We kind of appreciated the shelter there, because not only does it [stop crosswinds from Fairmount Park], but in addition it provides security for those folks who are waiting for the bus,” Graham said.
SEPTA officials were unavailable for comment.
The station serves five bus routes, and over 1,000 people use it per day. Brick from the demolition of the shelter is being salvaged to restore the building, an art project to enhance the space, and a green space is being added on the new roof to be environmentally friendly.
“Our struggle was for them not to tear that barn down and for them to give us something that looks similar to it, modern enough to meet their needs,” Graham said.
Overall the community has been pleased with the project, although complaints have been raised about the lack of community members on the construction crew.
The only inconvenience is traffic detours.
“The traffic is being diverted on 33rd Street,” Graham said. “I go past there all the time. It is what it is. You just have to put up with it for a minute.”