Happy trails are coming to you

— Folks who en­joy the great out­doors will soon get a lot more of it at the edge of the Delaware River.


As ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion, Tom Branigan is over­see­ing a series of pro­jects that will cre­ate an 11-mile trail from Al­legheny Av­en­ue to the Poquess­ing Creek.

The trail is part of a 3,000-mile East Coast Gre­en­way that will start in Maine from the north.

“You’re go­ing to be able to walk to Flor­ida if you want to,” Branigan told mem­bers at this month’s meet­ing of the Rotary Club of Frank­ford-North­east Phil­adelphia.

Former con­gress­man Bob Bor­ski cre­ated the Delaware River City Corp. in 2004.

One of the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s biggest ac­com­plish­ments came in 2008, when there was an ex­ten­sion of the trail at Pennypack on the Delaware, a park loc­ated just north of Rhawn Street.

Right now, the non-profit DRCC is en­gaged in the fol­low­ing five pro­jects on the river’s edge:

• Com­ple­tion of Lard­ner’s Point Park, between Rob­bins Av­en­ue and Levick Street.

• Con­struc­tion of a trail in Port Rich­mond. Work will start in the fall.

• Con­struc­tion of the 1.6-mile K&T Trail that will ex­tend north to Prin­ceton Av­en­ue. Work will be­gin late this year.

• Ex­ten­sion of Delaware Av­en­ue to Bridge Street. The road will be 30 feet wide. Work will start in 2013.

• Con­struc­tion of Bax­ter’s Trail, which will in­clude a bridge across Pennypack Creek. The trail will ex­tend to Linden Av­en­ue, mak­ing a de­tour onto Pennypack Street and State Road along the way. Work will start in 2013.

While the DRCC is mak­ing pro­gress, private de­vel­op­ment is be­ing stalled as prop­erty own­ers re­fuse to move for­ward with their long-an­nounced plans, blam­ing the poor eco­nomy.

The fin­ish­ing touches are be­ing put on the 4.5-acre Lard­ner’s Point Park, just south of the Ta­cony-Palmyra Bridge.

“It’s ninety-eight-per­cent done right now,” said Branigan, who was joined at the April 3 meet­ing by DRCC of­fice ad­min­is­trat­or Jim Cough­lin.

More than half of the fund­ing for the $1.5 mil­lion pro­ject came from the state De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Nat­ur­al Re­sources.

An­oth­er $416,000 came from claims that fol­lowed the spill­ing of 265,000 gal­lons of crude oil in­to the Delaware River by the Athos I tanker in 2004

Oth­er con­trib­ut­ors are the city, the Na­tion­al Fish and Wild­life Found­a­tion, the Garden Club of Amer­ica and the Delaware Val­ley Re­gion­al Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The park will in­clude a soft, fine lime­stone walk­ing trail; a re­fur­bished fish­ing pier with a stain­less steel rail­ing and a new sur­face, benches; pic­nic tables; a large patio; sol­ar-powered lights; trees; a wa­ter foun­tain; and park­ing.

A Friends of Lard­ner’s Point Park will be cre­ated.

The grounds where the park is be­ing built were once littered with trash, broken glass and con­struc­tion debris.

“It’s been quite a trans­form­a­tion,” Branigan said.

The work is be­ing done by Sand­mey­er Lane-based Seravalli Con­tract­ors Inc.

The park ded­ic­a­tion is set for Monday, May 14, at 10 a.m.

“You’ll get a chance to stroll along the river,” Branigan said.

The DRCC re­ceives fund­ing from the city, state and fed­er­al gov­ern­ments as it seeks to trans­form a river­front that was once dom­in­ated by in­dustry.

The group hopes busi­nesses de­cide to loc­ate near the river as trails ex­pand and the river­front be­comes a more pop­u­lar des­tin­a­tion.

The trail will con­nect at Al­legheny Av­en­ue with one be­ing de­veloped by the Delaware River Wa­ter­front Cor­por­a­tion. That trail will ex­tend south to Ore­gon Av­en­ue and west up Spring Garden Street to the Schuylkill River.

Rotary Club mem­bers will take part in a DRCC-sponsored cleanup of the three-acre Pleas­ant Hill Park this Sat­urday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The park is loc­ated at Linden Av­en­ue on the banks of the Delaware River.

The DRCC will hold its second an­nu­al spring fling on Thursday, May 17, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., at the Delaware River Yacht Club, at 9635 Mil­nor St. For more in­form­a­tion on the fund-raiser, call 215-537-8400, Ext. 136. 

The Rotary Club of Frank­ford-North­east Phil­adelphia meets every Tues­day from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. at Cannstat­ter’s, at 9130 Academy Road. ••


You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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