Bike riders and joggers will have to wait a bit longer to travel between Philadelphia and Montgomery County via the Manayunk Bridge.
The half-mile stretch, an unused section of SEPTA’s regional rail system, is slated to be repurposed into a recreational path, connecting the span’s namesake neighborhood and Lower Merion Township in the process.
The project was initially scheduled to begin this summer. Kay Sykora, director of the Schuylkill River Project, said this week that construction is now expected to start in early 2013 for a late November finish.
Sykora’s organization has been working with, among others, the City of Philadelphia, Lower Merion Township, SEPTA and PennDOT, to make the long sought-after link a reality.
Last January, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation was awarded $1.3 million in federal funds through PennDOT to complete the trail near the intersection of Main Street and Green Lane.
PennDOT recently chipped in an additional $1.1 million to a project whose price tag is now estimated at nearly $3 million.
The bridge’s existing rail bed will be replaced by a concrete path that will extend down to street level at Dupont Street, about a block away from Main Street in Manayunk. Fencing on either side of the bridge will also be erected.