Portion of Schuylkill River Trail to close for construction

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation plans to rebuild a section of the Schuylkill River Trail, the recreational path that runs along Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River.

Starting in mid-March, the trail will be closed between Falls Bridge and Ridge Avenue, next to the Wissahickon bus stop.

Detour signs are in place to direct pedestrians and cyclists to use Ridge Avenue to bypass the construction.

Mark Focht, the Executive Director of Fairmount Park, says that this quarter mile section is in need of repair because, “it doesn’t quite meet our standard for the Schuylkill River Trail.”

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The entire trail, running from Philadelphia to Valley Forge, is 25 miles long.

The project has an approved budget of $900,000. The money, Focht says, was gathered from federal, state, municipal, and private foundations.

It will go towards leveling and resurfacing, widening, and slightly rerouting the path for it to pass behind, rather than through, a small parking lot.

Sarah Clark Stuart, Campaign Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, has been spreading the message to people by distributing fliers to exercisers and commuters on the trail in the early morning. Stuart looks forward to seeing the repairs.

“It will be a big improvement to have it widened and leveled with a better surface,” Stuart said. “Having it go around the parking lot will make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Now that cyclists have to leave the path and cross Kelly Drive to bypass the construction, Stuart foresees a “more difficult ride” and she recommends that people be more aware of traffic.

The official groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Mar. 14 and the project should be complete by June.

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