Conrail pushes back Gurney Street cleanup

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Clean-up of the Gurney Street railroad gulch in Fairhill, which has become a campground for heroin users and a dumping site of needles and garbage, won’t start Monday, as originally planned.



The city came to an agreement with Conrail last month to fence and clean up the property. A contract calls for work to start by July 31, but Conrail initially planned to start work Monday.

Jocelyn Hill, a spokeswoman for Conrail said fabricating the fencing, which will secure the area, took longer than anticipated and that the company has hired a second contractor to speed things up. She said the work will begin before July 31.


“Yes, we’re behind where we hoped but we’re not delayed,” Hill said. “This is a massive construction project.”

Hill said it’s paramount that the city’s bridge fencing go up at the same time as Conrail’s fencing to fully seal off the area and prevent dumping in areas Conrail clears.

Bridges belonging to to the city will be fenced starting July 17.





“It’s a hiccup more than any kind of crisis,” Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis said. “I don’t think there’s any indication that there will be a delay beyond what we agreed on in the signed agreement.”

The work will close down what has become an open-air drug market. The city has said it will add police officers to the area and work to connect addicts there with human service agencies.

Under the agreement, Conrail will get rid of the needles, clear vegetation and trash from around the tracks and pave over the area known as ‘El Encampanento.’
























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