Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Two Years After TIGER Grant, Trail Construction Is Underway

This February marks the two-year anniversary of the huge, $23 million TIGER grant awarded to Philadelphia and Camden to build 10 new sections of multi-use trails.

Philadelphia's 7 projects are being pushed, pulled, and managed by a coalition of agencies and advocates (Philadelphia's Streets Department, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Philadelphia Parks and Rec, Schuylkill River Dev. Corporation, Bartram's Garden and the Delaware River City Corp). In New Jersey, NJDOT is working with Camden County and the Coopers Ferry Partnership on the 3 projects in Camden. Numerous engineering companies have been involved in final design and several construction firms now have contracts to begin work.

We are excited to report that four projects have broken ground and more are expected to start this spring. Here is an update on the new bike/ped goodness coming to a neighborhood near you:

58th Street Greenway

Construction starting February 24th
Construction began last Friday on the 58th Street Greenway, and should be finished in a matter of months. This project in Southwest Philadelphia will create a shared-use path to connect the Schuylkill River Trail and Bartram's Garden to the Cobbs Creek Trail, thus providing a critical link in the East Coast Greenway.

The Connector Bridge and Walnut Street Bridge Gateway
Construction of the connector bridge earlier this month
The Connector Bridge over the train tracks at Schuylkill River Park began in June 2011 and is coming along nicely. Foundation work for the bridge and ramp structure is complete, and construction is expected to complete in October.

The Walnut Street Bridge Gateway just broke ground this month. It will create a safer bridge with wider sidewalks, traffic calming, and a bike box. This project is due to be completed by September. Both projects are designed by the Schuylkill River Development Corporation.

Shawmont Avenue to the Montgomery County Line
Artist rendering of path and fence
A new piece of trail from Shawmont Avenue to the Montgomery County line will provide a wide off road trail and partially close a gap of the Schuylkill River Trail. This section will begin to provide a paved off road trail between Manayunk and Montco that parallels the tow path. The project got started last week and will take 4 months to complete. During that time, the existing path between Port Royal Avenue and the Montgomery County Line will be closed.

Bartram's Garden Trail
Bird artist's rendering of Bartram's Garden project
The Bartram's Garden's trail project should be begin construction very soon and is scheduled to be complete by summer.

Port Richmond Trail
Image from Delaware River City Corp
The Port Richmond trail will reduce the roadway width of Delaware Avenue between Allegheny Ave. and Lewis and Allegheny Ave. between Delaware Ave and Richmond Street. This narrowing will result in a wider sidewalk space where a multi-use trail will be constructed along with a green buffer with trees and plantings. This project should begin in Fall 2012 and take approximately 1 year.

The Boardwalk
Artist's rendering of Boardwalk
The Boardwalk is the project that will extend the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust St to the South Street Bridge. The contract to build the Boardwalk is currently under negotiation. If all issues are resolved satisfactorily, then work can start in late winter. This large and complex project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

Camden - Pearl Street, MLK Boulevard, and Pine Street
Map of TIGER projects (click to enlarge)
The three Camden projects (Pearl Street, MLK Boulevard, and Pine Street) will help close gaps in the Camden Greenways within the City of Camden. All three projects were approved at the January 2012 Camden County Freeholder meeting and are moving forward through the contractor selection process. Work should start in spring 2012 on all three.

Many people have been working very hard to make bring these projects possible. Hip hip horray! to everyone who is making the TIGER roar in Philly and Camden.