HomeNewsPine Road bridge reconstruction starting soon

Pine Road bridge reconstruction starting soon

From left: Sgt. James Tucker, community relations officer Mark Mroz, Mike Bobby, Kate Friend, Chief John Gallagher, Steve Phillips.

The Fox Chase Civic Association and Town Watch is unhappy with a change in schedule for the bridge reconstruction on Pine Road over Pennypack Creek.

The project is funded by the state, with the city Department of Streets overseeing the reconstruction.

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Originally, the work was scheduled to take place from May to September.

Now, the work will begin on March 18 and go through the end of the year.

Vehicles will be detoured to Bloomfield Avenue, Verree Road and Rhawn Street.

Members note that the area is home to three schools – Fox Chase Elementary, St. Cecilia and Tacony Academy – along with the fire station near Rhawn and Verree and ball fields for Fox-Rok A.A.

Residents envision cars turning off Rhawn onto Verree and starting to speed to make up time. They point to a fatal accident at Verree and Bloomfield in early 2022, when a passenger in a car that police said was speeding hit another car that was traveling the other way and making a turn.

“It ties everything up,” civic association president Kate Friend said of the long construction project.

Neighbors want the work done on off-hours.

In other news from the Feb. 14 meeting:

• Mark Mroz, community relations officer in the 2nd Police District, told the crowd there were 22 thefts from autos in the district in a recent one-week period. Among the items taken were two guns and four electronic devices, along with wallets and purses.

There were 52 stolen autos in the district from Jan. 22 until the night of the meeting. Six of the vehicles stolen were either running or had the keys inside.

Neighbors complained about the high number of people taking items from the Wawa at 7913-29 Oxford Ave. without paying for them. The store employs a security guard.

Mroz congratulated Michael Cram on being named a deputy police commissioner. He also celebrated the not guilty verdict for former Inspector Joe Bologna, who was charged with assaulting a college student with his baton during the George Floyd riots in 2020.

“Hopefully, he’ll get his job back,” Mroz said. “He’s a really great guy.”

Inspector Frank Bachmayer, commander of the Northeast Police Division, will hold a town hall on Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m., at the Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6401 Martins Mill Road.

The Civilian Police Academy is looking for members. The class meets nine times on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the police academy, 2838 Woodhaven Road. Contact Cpl. Megan Fabrizio at 215-934-4147 or Megan.Fabrizio@phila.gov.

Meanwhile, a benefit will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6-10 p.m. at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, 11630 Caroline Road, for three 2nd district officers shot in October during an incident on the 7500 block of Whitaker Ave. The event will honor Sgt. Mitchell Farrell and Officers John Hesdon and Samantha Gress. There will be a silent auction, DJ and raffle baskets. No tickets will be sold, but monetary donations will be accepted at the door. For more information, call Officer Judy Kinniry at 267-515-8887, Cpl. Christopher Bennett at 215-605-0414 or Erin O’Donnell at 215-205-1922.

• Rockledge Police Chief John Gallagher said crime remains low in the borough, and that the department is hiring.

Gallagher said the Fox-Rok A.A. parade will take place on April 13.

The second annual St. Cecilia School Legacy Run will take place on Saturday, April 20. The event is a 5K run/1-mile walk that raises money for a scholarship fund that benefits students at St. Cecilia who have a parent who is an alum of St. Cecilia or St. William. Sign up at https://runningintheusa.com/details/137457.

• The group presented Town Watch vice president Mike Bobby with a plaque for his volunteer efforts, particularly his longtime focus on cleaning graffiti in Fox Chase and places such as Rockledge, Burholme and Rhawnhurst. Steve Phillips, the Town Watch president, described Bobby as a “one-man gang.”

• Phillips thanked Sue Buck, deputy commissioner for the city Department of Parks and Recreation, for arranging to remove an RV that was being used as a living space in Burholme Park.

• State Sen. Jimmy Dillon, City Councilman Mike Driscoll and Rep. Pat Gallagher are sponsoring a St. Patrick’s Day celebration for seniors on Wednesday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Cannstatter’s, 9130 Academy Road. There will be breakfast, music, Irish dancers and a photo booth. RSVP to Michele Fleming at 267-878-3516.

• Dillon will hold a town hall on affordable higher education on Feb. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Community College of Philadelphia’s Northeast Regional Center, 12901 Townsend Road. He will hold a senior expo on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MaST Community Charter School III, 1 Crown Way.

• Fox Chase Civic Association will meet on Wednesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m., at Cpl. John Loudenslager American Legion Post 366, 7976 Oxford Ave. ••

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