For Pedestrian Bridge, A New Fence Is Coming

Posted: November 24, 1991

The chain-link fence that lines the 69th Street Terminal bridge in Upper Darby is coming down.

Replacing the galvanized wire with earth-toned ornamental fencing is one of the improvements planned for the bridge, which connects the SEPTA terminal to the 69th Street shopping district. Patrick J. Gavin, a member of Citizens for a Better Bridge (FABB), discussed the plans during a Township Council meeting Wednesday.

"We are pleased that the changes will comply with the federal accessibility standards," said Gavin. "We would like to see an artist's drawing or a model of what the bridge will look like when the work is completed."

The bridge, built in 1981, was designed to carry pedestrians safely across Market Street and originally included an elevator on the 69th Street side. However, the elevator was closed because of vandalism, officials said.

The new plans call for handicapped ramps with a handrail system at both ends of the bridge, according to Mayor James Ward.

Currently rusty red in color, the bridge is to be cleaned and painted in colors closer to those of the adjacent structures, the cream-colored McClatchy Building and red brick Terminal building.

Lighting fixtures on the bridge will be changed to match those of 69th Street, officials said.

Renovations to the bridge will cost about $140,000, officials said, and bids are scheduled to be advertised within the next 30 days.

Councilman Rudolph D'Alesio, who has been working with FABB, said Gavin was free to meet with Joseph Vasturia, township engineer, and view any drawings he had of the bridge plans.

In response to a request for a special meeting between FABB and council members, D'Alesio said there would be no further meetings on the subject.

"We have outlined what we are going to do, and we will make plans to beautify the bridge sometime in the future when we have the funds," said D'Alesio. "Now, we want to make it accessible."

In other business, the council approved a three-year contract with the township's 28 paid firefighters. The contract begins Jan. 1.

Ray Shay, township administrator, said that under the terms of the contract, the salary of a firefighter with two years' experience would rise

from $32,435 to $34,381 in the first year.

The second- and third-year salary increases are to be determined when the township settles on a new police contract in 1993 that will establish salary

parity between the police and fire employees, he said.

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