Dawn of public access on Delaware

Mar. 1
VIDEO of event posted below

By John Davidson
For PlanPhilly
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced the first major project in the long-awaited development of the Delaware River waterfront Sunday afternoon.

A $1 million grant from the William Penn Foundation will help finance the design and construction of a public park at the currently derelict Pier 11 near Penn’s Landing.

The announcement marks the initial implementation of the Action Plan for the Central Delaware, a comprehensive master plan for the riverfront developed over the past two years by Penn Praxis, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, and thousands of Philadelphians.

“I’m going to be in office however long I’m going to be in office; our waterfront is going to be here forever,” said Nutter. “Our job and our responsibility is to set a course and set a path … that when people look back, fifty or a hundred years from now, people will look at this moment and say, ‘whoever was in office at that time, whoever were the decision-makers … did the right thing and set the city on a proper course.”

The grant, as well as capital funds from the newly formed Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, will fund design, engineering and construction costs for the Pier 11 park.

Design work will begin in about a month, and the project should be completed in about 18 months, according to Deputy Mayor Andy Altman.

The William Penn Foundation grant will also help fund the creation of a Central Delaware Public Access Master Plan to guide future waterfront developments.

Work on a recreational trail that will run from Penn’s Landing to Pier 70 at Lombard and Reed streets will break ground in April. The first two phases of the trail are scheduled for completion by July.

City Councilman Frank DiCicco, who was also on hand for the announcement, said that on Thursday, March 5, he will be introducing to City Council zoning overlay and mapping legislation for the Central Delaware Waterfront that will protect public access to the river and provide for future improvements.

Contact the reporter at jddavison9@gmail.com

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