Manayunk Bridge Trail designers seek community input

As plans continue to take shape on a park and bike trail across the landmark Manayunk Bridge, design consultants working on the project are looking for the public’s input.

Whitman, Requardt and Associates will hold the first in what they say will be a series of open public meetings to solicit ideas about what kind of features and uses members of the community would like to see. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 9 at North Light Community Center, 175 Green Lane.

“We will meet with community groups and the public this spring and summer to get their ideas, share alternatives, and collaboratively develop the design,”

Jeff Riegner, leader of the WR&A Design Team, said in a news release yesterday.

The bridge, long since out of service by passenger and freight trains, is owned by SEPTA and for years was unused. In recent months, volunteer groups have cleared trash, debris and the old tracks as the trail effort grew.

Once completed, the Manayunk Bridge Trail would link trail projects on both sides of the Schuylkill, joining the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Lower Merion. Further trail projects would extend from the former SEPTA Manayunk train station on Dupont Street, the bridge’s terminus on the city side, with Ivy Ridge Station on Umbria Street and, eventually, joining the Schuylkill River Trail at Shawmont Avenue.

Designs must be complete by late 2012 or the project would forfeit a $1.3 million PennDOT construction grant awarded in January.

Contact Amy Z. Quinn at azquinn@planphilly.com

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