Amtrak Pitches in on Bristol Wide Clean Up Effort
On the unofficial opening of outdoor event season in Bristol Borough, a team of locals partnered with Amtrak employees led by Councilwoman Maria Figueroa to come together for an area cleanup and to forge bonds for future cooperative efforts.
Figueroa, if anything, is a woman of strong faith. When she was first elected to the northward seat in 2020, she said she wanted to see the come ward together to forge ahead with a spring cleanup effort. At the time, on the record, she wasn’t saying exactly what she had in mind, but there were signs one of her major priorities was to bridge a gap that existed with Amtrak.
Getting them more involved with improving the overall look of their properties in the ward, and throughout the borough has been a sore point with borough officials.
The cleanup went from a north ward specific event, to a borough wide effort the same weekend, Sunday Stroll returned to Mill Street. About a dozen Amtrak employees and two dozen residents, collected garbage, brush and foliage from Amtrak properties area with the public works department collecting the garbage and getting rid of it on the weekend of April 15.
Figueroa was “thrilled by the turnout” and help from the railway company.
“We’ve been working on scheduling this for a year and I’m really grateful for help from my fellow council members and Amtrak,” she said.
We all know this is Amtrak’s property. Borough public works employees are not responsible for the cleanup and maintenance of these areas, she said, Amtrak expressed a want to be a part of a community based effort and volunteered some of their employees to come out and help.
“They do have thousands of miles of track to maintain so I figured we’d offer some help,” the councilwoman said.
Amtrak Spokeswoman Beth Knoll echoed Figueroa’s sentiments
In relation to the community clean-up, councilwoman Figueroa’ asked us to support the community clean up and in the spirit of collaboration we were happy to show up for the Bristol community, she said.
Amtrak has been working with north ward councilwoman Figueroa for almost a year to address the overgrowth along the right-of-way (ROW) in Bristol.
One area of recent concern, is the ongoing work at the overpass on Bath Street that started last September, as the walls holding up the span were literally crumbling to the ground each time a train comes through Bristol.
Although Amtrak is generally sparse with its words Knoll did say over the last few months, “our maintenance crews have addressed many of the areas of concern,”
The relationship between Bristol Borough and Amtrak over the years hasn’t been the best of relationships, however that appears to have changed now with a successful joint-effort in the books.
Lots of e-mails, phone calls, and faith can get a lot accomplished, Figueroa said, standing next to First Baptist Church, smiling taking one last look at an area no one was talking about or spending time on.
Looking over the area she said, “we did a get a lot done in one day.”
At last weeks council work session, Figueroa presented a mini slide show, covering the effort, expressing thanks to all who participated.
Again she said, I’m really grateful for all that came out and helped, she said. Proving yet again having faith and some patience can get important work done.