Monday, January 31, 2011

Old Betzwood Bridge Trail Open House - 20 Years In The Making

Remember the Betzwood Bridge? Before its closure in 1993 the Betzwood bridge provided a direct link between Valley Forge and the Schuylkill River Trail which at the time still had a two mile gap between Spring Mill and Conshohocken. The bridge closure cut off trail users from Valley Forge, the Bicycle Coalition protested and the cutting of a chain link fence resulted in the arrest of two Bicycle Coalition executives.

Betzwood Bridge Protest - February 1993
Those were the days.

That protest was not in vain, PENNDOT and the Regional Bicycle Task force worked on solutions to the problem, a shuttle trailer was used for a while but eventually PENNDOT cantilevered a "temporary boardwalk" on US 422 to allow access to Valley Forge in 2004 until a new Betzwood Bridge was built. 17 years later that creaky boardwalk is still the only way across the river.

The design for the Old Betzwood Bike Ped Bridge is nearing completion and on February 16th there will be an open house where the project sponsors and the study team will display the proposed bridge, answer questions and obtain the input of attendess. Right now the bridge is on track for completion in the fall of 2013, more than 20 years after its closure.

Old Betzwood Bridge Proposal

Date: February 16, 2011
Time: 4:00-8:00 PM
Place:Education Center @ Valley Forge National Historical Park


Red Tail Hawk said...

Well, Montco has the money to finish the cross county trail... However, it was decided that it should not be completed in these hard economic times due to how this would look to the people.

are we now supposed to believe that this same county's officials will be agreeable to building this bridge?

This former Montco Resident will remain skeptical

Unknown said...

Hard economic times?!?!? This region is so overrun with wealth at the moment, it's disgusting. Take for example the excessive salting of dry roads to mitigate even the possibility of a little bit of ice. The desire to build a new school building in Upper Merion Township while an existing building sits vacant. The way a majority of residents of this area have air conditioning in their house and use it for weeks on end. There are no hard economic times in the Philly area.

No, pedestrian and bicycle transportation routes would better prepare the area if hard economic times did come along. These would enable more people to save their money and use human power to get to a job and continue to contribute to the economy.

This is the first I've heard of what happened with the cross county trail, and I will be writing letters.