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April 16, 2016

SEPTA set to embark on Center City concourse renovations

Multi-year initiative seeks to turn underground passageways back into a destination

SEPTA Subways
Southbound Subway Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A SEPTA subway departs south on the Broad Street Line from the City Hall Station.

SEPTA will officially begin a large-scale renovation of Center City's underground concourse on Monday as the agency looks to rehab leaky pathways and chipped walls, discourage littering and set the passageway up for its future as more of a public destination.

The initiative marks SEPTA's first comprehensive plan to spruce up the concourse, now used mainly as a pedestrian fast lane, since it assumed control from the city in July of 2014, PhillyMag reports.

At various locations along the 3.5-mile concourses, which stretch from 8th and Market streets to the Comcast Center, SEPTA will undertake a variety of maintenance and improvement projects, beginning with South Broad Street, 15th Street Centre/Square and Market Street.

The multi-year plan, which includes new LED lighting and replacements for the 15th Street escalators, will result in the closure of the South Broad Street concourse's north end until this time next year.

Robert Lund Jr., SEPTA's Assistant GM for Engineering, Maintenance & Construction, told PhillyMag the agency hopes to eventually revive the former atmosphere of the concourses, which once featured storefronts to department stores and other retail outlets.

The renovations fall broadly under SEPTA's 12-Year Capital Program, which includes $548.63 million proposed in FY 2017 to advance the agency's "Rebuilding for the Future" initiative.