Friday, February 24, 2012

Schuylkill River Trail from Port Royal to County Line Closed for Construction

Philadelphia's Park and Rec Department and their general contractor, Tony DePaul & Son, have announced that the trail from Port Royal to Montgomery County line will be closed for the next four months for a trail widening project. This trail improvement project will also build a new off-road trail segment from Shawmont to Port Royal Ave. This will end on the street routing through Shawmont.

We caution all cyclists that travelling through a construction zone is illegal. There is no official detour for the trail. River Road has been a tried and true alternate route used by cyclists in the know for many years. The road has passable gates near the City line where the right of way crosses private property. Proceed at your own risk.

Detour Route River Road to Manor Road to the stairway at the Schuylkill River Trail overpass.

View Schuylkill River Trail Closure in a larger map


BCW said...

I'm surprised there is no official detour... this is a long project and will effectively close the route as a through-trail until July, closing off city access to bike commuters and recreational cyclists. Could the Coalition raise the issue of making the ad hoc detour you suggested an official one so as to avoid any issues?

Bike Coalition said...

A discussion with Parks and Rec Department revealed that a detour plan on the route was proposed but rejected by USDOT (who control the TIGER funds). Neither Philadelphia nor Montgomery County felt that they could not endorse the River Road route that crosses a sliver of private property (which is not owned by the adjacent homeowners).

The nearest possible on road detour is up the hill on Port Royal Ave then left on Ridge and a left on Manor Rd. A steep up and downhill.

phillygoat said...

If the owner is the property management company that owns the offices where the paper mill used to be - I want to say it's one of the O'Neill brothers developers but they may have just built the thing and don't own it any more - by any chance, has a specifically non-government group (ahem, Bicycle Coalition :) ) reached out to that landlord to find out what they might charge as rent for an official bicycle detour? They have a fiduciary duty to protect the property from a defacto easement or adverse possession claim, so they, reasonably, have to block off access and probably don't want to set a precedent for the county or other government body being able to request such a right, but they also might be amenable to a formal agreement with a non-government to allow a bicycle detour for the duration of the trail work. Whether they'd be in for $1 because the trail is otherwise an amenity to that property, or a market rate (which they would have a fiduciary duty to accept, I would point out), I couldn't guess.

thatbmxguy said...

There are no signs that say "detour" as of April 8th. I took the detour to give it a test. The detour was nice and refreshing, as there is a nice river front to look at instead of the wall of rock and trees. It may of just been myself using it, but some others (3 rider) were using the detour also.