Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: July 1999 Volume 37 Number 3, Pages 107–108

Notes and Comments

Page 107


Pedestrian Bridge Dedicated

The project to reconstruct the pedestrian bridge and renovate the adjacent Berwyn railroad station was formally dedicated at noon on Thursday, May 13,1999 amid light spring showers. Connecting Easttown with Tredyffrin at the center of Berwyn's "downtown" district, the new bridge, also known as the Cassatt Avenue bridge, had been open to walkers for some time while work crews built ramps, installed light fixtures and improved the station platform.

The $4.2 million bridge, which is 115 feet long and 11 feet wide, is the center piece of a cooperative effort between SEPTA, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration, Chester County, and Easttown and Tredyffrin townships. The project included new stairs, almost 4,000 feet of handicapped accessible ramps leading to the railroad level, rehabilitation of the brick inbound platform, rehabilitation of both the inbound and outbound platform canopies, an accessible path connecting the platforms and parking lots, and restriping the existing parking areas.

Speakers at the short dedication ceremony were John K. Leary, SEPTA General Manager, State Sen. Robert Thompson, State Rep. Robert Flick, State Rep. Carole Rubley, and County Commissioner Karen Martynick who is also a member of SEPTA's board.

The ceremony also included the unveiling of the relocated World War I Veterans' Memorial, which had been most recently located in front of the Easttown township administrative offices. As a color guard stood by, Daniel Green, adjutant of the Upper Main Line VFW Post 5203, presided over the unveiling of the monument which includes a bronze tablet con­taining the names of 308 veterans of the war.

Page 108


Township Offices Moved

Easttown Township administrative and police offices reopened for busi­ness in spacious new quarters on Monday morning, March 28, 1999, at 566 Beaumont Road in Devon. The $2.4 million new facility is located in a two-story converted stone barn at the Hilltop estate donated to the township by the O'Dell family in 1996. The old administrative office space at 730 First Avenue in Berwyn had been rented from the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.

Gene Williams, township manager since 1971, said this was the second major move of Easttown's officials he has experienced. The last was in 1982 when the township relocated from a building at 4 Midland Avenue in Berwyn.

A formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new office building was held at 10 a.m. on April 29 at Hilltop. A second dedication took place at the adjacent site of Hilltop Park at 10 a.m. on May 8. The park had been completed the previous November.


Rail Yard Suit Settled

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on April 13, 1999 that a federal court had approved a settlement in the long-running litigation concerning hazardous substances, primarily polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, at the Paoli Rail Yard. Amtrak, SEPTA, and Conrail have agreed to pay $500,000 to the EPA and $100,000 to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as reimbursement for site cleanup that the two agencies have performed in the past.

The three companies must also pay $850,000 to the Department of Interior, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, for damage to natural resources in the area. Most importantly, however, the settlement requires the three transportation agencies to perform and pay for the remaining environmental cleanup required in the area.

About 20 years have passed since the litigation commenced. The EPA designated the area a Superfund site in 1990. The 28-acre train station property, which SEPTA leases from Amtrak, overlaps Tredyffrin and Willistown townships. Work will begin on cleanup after a local business in the area is relocated, Under consideration is construction of a new Paoli train station at the site after it is remediated.


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