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Philadelphia, PA − April 26, 2021 − State Senator Nikil Saval (D–Philadelphia) is thrilled to announce the award of five grants totaling more than $1.2 million for public infrastructure projects that will benefit the people of Philadelphia and the First Senatorial District. This brings the full monetary amount of grants received by the District in the past two weeks to $2.5 million.

“The use of public money to fund public projects that will enhance the lives of people throughout our region shows government doing what I hoped to accomplish when I ran for office: centering the real needs of those who live, work, and put down their roots in our city,” said Senator Saval. “These wins come from the combined efforts of many public servants—Rep. Donna Bullock, Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, Rep. Brian Sims, and Rep. Regina Young—and to work with them to bring this important support to the residents of our districts has been an honor.”

Two of the projects were granted funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund:

  • Washington Avenue Connector Project, by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which received an award of $575,000 to improve travel and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers along the Washington Avenue corridor from 4th Street to Columbus Boulevard; and
  • Baggage Handling Tug Tunnel Rehabilitation, Phase I, by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Commerce, Division of Aviation, which received an award of $500,000 to make structural improvements, enhance signage, and upgrade electrical, ventilation, and fire protection systems to ensure the safety of workers and passengers and the smooth operation of Philadelphia’s hub of connection with the rest of the country and the world.

The remaining three projects were granted funding through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Funding Program (Act 13):

  • Schuylkill Banks Bulkhead Restoration, by the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, which received an award of $50,000 to repair the bulkheads along the Schuylkill River Trail at the 30th Street and JFK Boulevard bridges and mend the sinkholes and restore the landscaping of the surrounding areas, enhancing the trail for its many users;
  • LED Lighting at 7th and Bigler Streets Athletic Fields, by the Southeast Youth Athletic Association, which received an award of $68,751 to remove the outdated 60-year-old lighting system around the ballfields and replace it with new utility polls, conductors, and LED lights; and  
  • Greening the Waring School Yard and Park, by the Spring Garden Community Development Corporation, which received an award of $64,557 to remove the asphalt play yard, too hot for children’s use in the summer, and replace it with rain and shade gardens, educational sitting areas, and trees, bushes, and flowers.  

Embedded in the scope of each of these five projects is a dedication to public good and public service. The success of these grants demonstrates the importance of collaboration among elected officials.

“Creating, expanding and maintaining green space in the urban core of Philadelphia and in a dense area like my legislative district is a priority for me because green space and recreational opportunities are tied to the quality of life for residents and to the health our area’s economy,” said Rep. Brian Sims (D–Philadelphia). Rep. Sims’s advocacy was crucial in securing the grant for the Schuylkill Banks Bulkhead Restoration project. “The Schuylkill River Trail is a vital recreational asset, a fact that came into clearer focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to support the trail’s continued improvement and ecological restoration.” 

The projects also show the linkages of public projects with the health and vitality of the entire city and region. 

“The Philadelphia International Airport is a major hub for international and domestic travel, and a major employer in our region,” said Rep. Regina Young (D–Philadelphia and Delaware Counties), whose support of the grant for the Baggage Handling Tug Tunnel Rehabilitation project was important in its success. “I am thrilled to see this $500,000 in state funding be used to ensure the airport operates efficiently and safely for both travelers and employers.”

These grant announcements come a week after the announcement of a $1.2 million PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund grant for a public project in Fishtown. Senator Saval has succeeded in bringing a total of $2.5 million to the First Senatorial District, the most grant money awarded to any Senate district by these specific programs over the past month.

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