In a busy few days for the city’s regional trail network, the Schuylkill River Park Connector Bridge opened to the public and partners broke ground on the Port Richmond Trail in Northeast Philadelphia.
Both projects are important links in “The Circuit,” the regional trail network that will eventually be part of the East Coast Greenway – a nearly 3,000 mile green trail system for pedestrians and bicyclists that will stretch from Canada to Florida – and both projects were made possible, in part, by TIGER funding.
The Schuylkill River Park Bridge, also known as the CSX pedestrian-bicycle bridge, includes a 95’ long truncated arch truss structure that crosses the CSX train tracks and 10-foot-wide ADA accessible ramps that lead from the Schuylkill River Trail on one side and the Schuylkill River Park, with its community garden, dog park and basketball courts, on the other side.
The bridge was opened to the public during a ceremony Saturday during the annual Schuylkill River Park fall festival, and by Sunday it was already buzzing with activity.
Across the city, the Delaware River City Corporation, Pennsylvania Environmental Council and city and state representatives broke ground Monday on the Port Richmond Trail, which will add 1.5-miles of greenway to Delaware and Allegheny avenues along the heavily industrialized section of Delaware River waterfront.
At the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, State Representative John Taylor pointed from Pulaski Park, beyond the oil tanks and I-95 overpass to the neighborhoods that he said will benefit from this project.
“The neighbors will tell you, except for this little slice of heaven, they have very little access to the river,” he said.
The trail will also provide access to regional recreation opportunities by connecting with the Tacony Creek Trail at Castor Avenue, part of the eventual 750-mile Circuit trail network.
“Piece by piece, we’re making it happen,” said Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who helped secure funding for the project and spoke at the groundbreaking.