Starting today, the Manayunk Canal Towpath will be closed for construction.
The improvement project will last about three months, according to Rob Armstrong, preservation and capital project manager for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.
The four wooden bridges in the northern section of the towpath and its railings will be replaced. The trail will be redone with compacted crushed stone screening —a construction aggregate, distinct from gravel, produced by breaking down a large rock and reducing it to smaller pieces used for covering paths. Crews will also install porous paved asphalt at the approaches to the northern bridges, the Shawmont Avenue section of the trail.
The porous asphalt infiltrates the storm water rather than running off into the canal.
“It’s a new thing that the park and PWD (Philadelphia Water Department) is putting throughout the system,” Armstrong said. “It will be a much better surface, much safer and easier to ride on.”
Where necessary, some trees will also be removed.
To access the trail’s alternate outbound route during construction, drive to the end of Main Street, where it meets Leverington Avenue. Make a right on Leverington, and at the first light make a left on Umbria Street, which also has designated bike lanes. Take Umbria its entire length until it hits Shawmont and make a left there. Take Shawmont to River Road at the bottom of the hill. Turn right onto River Road and turn right on Nixon to access the Valley Forge Trail.
Coming inbound during construction, individuals coming from Valley Forge toward Center City, should take Nixon Street. Make a left on Shawmont Avenue from Nixon Street. Take a right on Umbria Street, a right on Leverington Avenue and a left on Main Street. Main Street will lead to the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Kelly Drive, which directs back on the path to the Schuylkill River Trail.