Rabb to join Allens Lane bridge reopening dedication

Long-awaited reopening of bridge to be celebrated Sunday

PHILADELPHIA, July 8 – State Rep. Chris Rabb will be among those speaking at the Allens Lane Bridge reopening ceremony being held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 11 at Allens Lane and Cresheim Road. 

According to Rabb, the totally reconstructed Allens Lane bridge over SEPTA’s Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail Line in the West Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia reopened on Wednesday. 

Allens Lane, one of myriad state roads disproportionately honoring white men, was named after enslaver William Allen, Jr., British loyalist, 26th mayor of Philadelphia and former Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania from 1751 to 1774.

Allens Lane had been closed and detoured between South Cresheim Road and North Cresheim Road since May 2019. The massive overhaul was needed due to the deteriorating and unsafe condition of the bridge deck, superstructure and substructure. 

Rabb said the design is the result of a close collaborative effort between PennDOT and the surrounding neighborhood association, Cresheim Village Neighbors. PennDOT and the neighborhood association met several times over the years to share ideas, particularly regarding the 100-foot-long barrier walls across the length of the bridge. The unique design of the walls reflects the give-and-take between PennDOT and the community and is one that gives the bridge its character.

“To ensure that everyone benefits from public infrastructure investment, we must ensure that the communities and people impacted by it have a seat at the negotiating table,” Rabb said. “It has been invigorating to watch this partnership between West Mt. Airy residents and the state grow over the past several years and result in this critical infrastructure project. 

“Projects and investments like this can generate enormous community benefits, including jobs, access and business opportunity. So, when the state invests taxpayer dollars in any project, we always must engage with the community and make transparent the answers of who pays, who decides, who benefits and who will bear the impact. It is the most productive way to ensure equity in infrastructure investment,” he said.   

According to Rabb, the $4.9 million project was financed with 100% state funds.