March 7, 2012
Construction Underway On Four Brand New Bike/Pedestrian Trails In Philadelphia, With Three More Slated For Spring
Last month marked the two-year anniversary of the huge, $23 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant awarded to Philadelphia and Camden by the Department of Transportation to build 10 new sections of multi-use trails.
There are seven projects in Philadelphia, and three in Camden. We’re excited to report, thanks to an update from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, that four projects have broken ground and more are expected to start this spring.
They are all great progress towards the “Complete the Trail” initiative, a community coalition organized to complete Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Trail from Delaware County to Montgomery County.
Check out a quick rundown of the bike and pedestrian pathways coming to a neighborhood near you ranging from the next few months to years:
• 58th Street Greenway: Construction started February 24 on the 58th Street Greenway in Southwest Philadelphia, and should be complete by summer. This project will create a shared-use path to connect the Schuylkill River Trail and Bartram’s Garden to the Cobbs Creek Trail, providing a critical link in the East Coast Greenway, a route which enters Pennsylvania in Bucks County from Trenton, NJ and winds it way along the Delaware River.
• The Connector Bridge at Schuylkill River Park: The bridge over the train tracks at the Schuylkill River Park began back in June 2011. Foundation work for the bridge and ramp structure is complete, and total construction is expected to be finished in October of this year.
• Walnut Street Bridge Gateway: This bride just broke ground last month, and will create a safer bridge for pedestrians and bikers. Sidewalks will be widened, the bike lane will be reconfigured, new pedestrian scaled lighting will replace the existing cobra fixtures and the sidewalks will receive architectural treatment. It’s slated to be complete by September.
• Shawmont Avenue to the Montgomery County Line: A new piece of trail from Shawmont Avenue to the Montgomery County line will provide a wide off-road trail and partially close a gap of the Schuylkill River Trail. This section will begin to provide a paved-off road trail between Manayunk and Montco that parallels the tow path. The project started last month and will take about four months to complete, according to the Bicycle Coalition.
• Bartram’s Garden’s Trail: The Schuylkill River Trail will wind through the Bartram’s Meadow on its way to the Bartram House and Garden, the oldest botanic garden in the country. Trail users will be able to access the garden the same way that their colonial counterparts did, from the Schuylkill River. This project should begin construction soon and is scheduled to be complete by summer.
• Port Richmond Trail: This project will redesign an L-shaped section of two existing city streets: Delaware Avenue between Allegheny Avenue, and Lewis Street and Allegheny between Delaware and Richmond Street. The project will reduce the width of the streets and add a green buffer with trees and plantings and a multi-use recreational trail. This project should begin in Fall 2012 and take about a year.
• Schuylkill Boardwalk: The Schuylkill River Development Corporation plans to build a half-mile boardwalk on the Schuylkill Banks from Locust to South Street to extend the super popular multi-use trail. In addition, a pedestrian and bicycle access ramp will be built at the new South Street Bridge, providing a connection to the boardwalk and improving access with linkages to regional trail systems. The contract to build the Boardwalk is currently under negotiation, and hopefully set to be completed by fall 2014.
The three Camden projects (Pearl Street, MLK Boulevard and Pine Street) will help close gaps in the Camden Greenways within the City of Camden. All three projects were approved at the January 2012 Camden County Freeholder meeting and are moving forward through the contractor selection process. Work on all three should start in spring 2012.
You can read the full TIGER report here (PDF).
Two Years After TIGER Grant, Trail Construction Is Underway [Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia]