Woodland Avenue Tunnel Extension
The Subway-Surface tunnel currently terminates in a portal located at 40th Street between Baltimore and Woodland Avenues. Routes 11, 13, 34 and 36 use this portal to access/exit the tunnel, and operate in-street through neighborhoods located to the south and west. Travel time between 40th Street portal and the respective service endpoints is very long given the distances traveled.
The proposed Woodland Avenue Tunnel extension would begin at approximately 38th Street by diverging around the the ramps leading to 40th Street portal. The tunnel would continue southwest under Woodland Avenue to a new portal located at the site currently occupied by the SEPTA Subway-Surface Woodland Heavy Maintenance Facility. It is anticipated that new articulated Light Rail Vehicles, to be purchased in association with the future Subway-Surface system improvements, will cause the Woodland Heavy Maintenance Facility to become obsolete. The Woodland Heavy Maintenance Facility would be replaced by a new facility to be located at 58th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard.
Three new Subway-Surface stations would be built: 40th Street (underground), USP / 43rd Street (underground), and 49th Street (to be determined)
The new portal would be built within the block bounded by 49th Street, Woodland Avenue, 50th Street and Greenway Avenue. The configuration of the new portal would be a partial spiral due to space constraints. Outbound trolley vehicles will exit the portal and operate along Greenway Avenue to the intersection of 49th Street. A new junction would be built at that point to provide access to the existing non-revenue tracks on 49th Street.
From Greenway Avenue, outbound Route 11 and 36 vehicle would turn right on 49th Street , and continue onto their respective original routes at the intersection of 49th Street and Woodland Avenue. Outbound Route 13 vehicles would turn left on 49th Street from Greenway Avenue, and continue southwest onto the original route at the intersection of 49th Street and Chester Avenue. Inbound vehicle would follow the reverse routings described above. Route 34 would continue to use the existing 40th Street portal with no change in routing.
The 49th Street portal could be integrated with a transit oriented development (TOD) replacing the Woodland Heavy Maintenance Facility. The nexus of three trolley routes, combined with TOD at that site, could serve as a catalyst to support redevelopment in the Woodland Avenue corridor as an extension of the regeneration occuring in University City.
Benefits of this project include:
1) Travel time reduction on Routes 11, 13 and 36 due to the elimination of in-street operation between 40th Street portal and 49th Street.
2) Traffic congestion reduction along Woodland Avenue between 40th Street and 49th Street due to the elimination of trolley vehicles from the road surface.
3) The elimination of redundant infrastructure along Chester Avenue between Woodland Avenue and 49th Street.
4) Facilitating the closure of Chester Avenue between 43rd Street and 45th Street to connect the isolated segments of Clark Park.