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June 26, 2016

SEPTA's Trolley Tunnel Blitz postponed indefinitely

UPDATE (July 3): After a "significant structural defect" was found in a third of SEPTA's Regional Rail cars, the "Trolley Tunnel Blitz" has been postponed.

Original story: The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is gearing up for the fourth annual "Trolley Tunnel Blitz."

The Center City tunnel will close for nine days, beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 8 and ending at 4 a.m. on Monday, July 18.

The closure will affect trolley routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36. Service will begin and end at 40th and Market Streets, where riders can transfer to the Market-Frankford Line to connect to Center City.

The project will allow workers to complete key maintenance and construction tasks.

This year, crews will work between the 19th Street and 22nd Street Stations to replace 1,500 feet of wood protection board that connect overhead wire to the tunnel ceiling on the eastbound side and replace the track that has been in use for 30 years on the westbound side.

Additional work includes improving signal and wire reliability, testing emergency generators and lighting, removing graffiti, repairing tiles and painting.

"The Trolley Tunnel Blitz allows SEPTA to maximize productivity during improvements projects while minimizing the period of inconvenience to passengers and communities because it is held during the summer when ridership is lower," said Jeffrey Knueppel, SEPTA General Manager.

The first three years of the "Trolley Tunnel Blitz" occurred in August. However, SEPTA officials decided to move the project before the 2016 Democratic National Convention in July to provide improved service to customers and visitors to the city.

"We thank our customers for their continued support and understanding during these closures. We will work to make this year's blitz as productive and successful as in previous years," said Knueppel.