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House passes bill that includes funding for local projects

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-2nd dist.) has worked on bringing to fruition five specific projects that would benefit constituents in his district into the Invest in America Act. He revealed his plans for his district’s share of the federal funding during a Zoom meeting on June 29.

Two days later, the act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 221-201. Two Republicans voted for it, with most arguing that the package was a partisan bill that would add to the debt, cost jobs and ultimately lead to tax increases..

“For the first time in more than a decade, members of Congress were able to specifically fight for projects back home,” Boyle said.

There is no guarantee that the local earmarks will make it into whatever final bill is passed by the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden.

The five projects include improvements made to intersections along Roosevelt Boulevard, traffic signals on North 2nd Street from Callowhill Street to Lehigh Avenue, improvements along the Castor Avenue corridor and addressing accessibility issues at the Erie SEPTA station.

The improvements to Roosevelt Boulevard include the intersection of Summerdale and Adams avenues. “Between 2013 and 2017 there were 183 total reportable crashes in this section of the Boulevard,” Boyle said. “We’ve been hearing about safety along the Boulevard forever.”

The project to improve the Boulevard would cost $1.9 million. It would also improve signalization and safer crosswalks.

The Castor Avenue corridor, which Boyle said will cost $3 million, would improve access to jobs, sustainability and safety. “From Oxford Circle to Cottman Avenue, the current street configuration creates safety obstacles, speeding traffic and inadequate crosswalks,” Boyle said.

Under the new configuration along Castor Avenue, there would be protected bike lanes. Improving trolley and bus operations by consolidating transit stops will allow residents to access businesses that reside on the corridor and Cottman Avenue.

Boyle has delegated over $16 million to fund these projects, money that would come from federal funding, should the Invest in America Act become law.

Once the legislation makes it to the Senate it could be voted on in a variety of ways, such as one package or part of the larger infrastructure package Biden and Congress are working on.

“So you can take just my congressional district in Philadelphia, but magnify that throughout all of the districts in our area, you can see that we will benefit from this transportation and infrastructure bill, if and when it passes,” Boyle said. ••

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