Northeast Times

Bridesburg Trail construction to begin Spring 2014

The Port Rich­mond Trail re­cently opened thanks to the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion, and now Brides­burg will soon see sim­il­ar de­vel­op­ments.

The planned path of the Brides­burg por­tion of the Delaware River Trail. COUR­TESY OF THE DRCC.

Re­cently, a wave of de­vel­op­ment has hit the Delaware River wa­ter­front with­in the River Wards neigh­bor­hoods.  

Con­dos and apart­ment build­ings, parks, re­vital­ized aban­doned lots and sin­is­ter stretches of streets are slowly be­ing trans­formed in­to a thriv­ing wa­ter­front.  

Me­an­der­ing through this de­vel­op­ment will one day be the com­pleted Delaware River Trail, a five-mile bike and ped­es­tri­an stretch that will provide easi­er ac­cess to a wa­ter­front that has been so long re­mote.  

Small sec­tions of the trail are already ac­cess­ible.  The Port Rich­mond Trail, de­signed by Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion, was of­fi­cially opened a few weeks ago. 

The Penn Street Trail, loc­ated in Fishtown, wel­comed its first bikers, run­ners, and walk­ers this past June. 

So where in the River Wards will the trail go next?  Ac­cord­ing to the Phil­adelphia De­part­ment of Streets, the trail will come to Brides­burg. 

While still in the ini­tial im­ple­ment­a­tion phase, con­struc­tion of the Brides­burg Trail will be­gin early this spring.  Vadim Fley­sh, the Streets En­gin­eer Man­ager for the Phil­adelphia De­part­ment of Streets, elab­or­ated on the pro­cess.  

“Bids for con­struc­tions were ac­cep­ted in Novem­ber and we are fol­low­ing the pro­cess of award­ing a con­tract,” he ex­plained.  

With con­struc­tion pro­jec­ted to be­gin in early spring, Fley­sh says the pro­cess can be ex­pec­ted to last ap­prox­im­ately two years.  The first sec­tion of the Brides­burg Trail will be­gin on Lewis Street, where the Port Rich­mond Trail ends, and con­tin­ue to Or­tho­dox Street, fol­low­ing Delaware Av­en­ue.  

“The bike path of the trail will run along­side the old rail­way and a side­walk will be on the oth­er side,” said Fley­sh.  

Aes­thet­ic­ally, bikers and ped­es­tri­ans can ex­pect something sim­il­ar to the ex­ist­ing Port Rich­mond Trail. 

“There will be lights to light the path and there will be trees,” con­firmed Fley­sh.  There will also be a new bridge built next to the ex­ist­ing bridge that will al­low the trail to con­tin­ue over the Frank­ford Creek.  

At com­ple­tion, Phase 1 of the Brides­burg Trail will be ap­prox­im­ately .6 miles long.   

Al­though the Brides­burg Trail is a pro­ject of the De­part­ment of Streets, the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion has been in­volved since the design pro­cess. 

The non-profit or­gan­iz­a­tion is the one that de­signed the Port Rich­mond Trail, and its over­all mis­sion is to en­sure the suc­cess­ful im­ple­ment­a­tion of the North Delaware Gre­en­way while brin­ing ad­ja­cent com­munit­ies to the river through trails and parks, 

ldquo;We have been con­sult­ing with the Streets De­part­ment dur­ing the design pro­cess to ex­press our ex­pect­a­tions of the trail,” stated Thomas Branigan, Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or of the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion.  

Branigan echoed the de­tails con­firmed by Fley­sh of what the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion is call­ing Phase 1 of the Brides­burg Trail.  “This Brides­burg sec­tion of the trail will link Lewis Street to Or­tho­dox.  It will me­ander un­der the Betsy Ross Bridge and fol­low the old rail­road tracks,” he said.  

The Lewis Street to Or­thor­dox street sec­tion is only the first part of the Brides­burg trail. 

ldquo;Phase 2 will link the first sec­tion, or Phase 1, of the trail to Bucki­us Street,” ex­plained Branigan.  The even­tu­al stretch of trail from Lewis Street to Bucki­us street will be just un­der a mile long, at .95.  

“Ob­vi­ously, the biggest part of the pro­ject is ac­tu­ally build­ing the road,” ac­know­ledged Branigan.  

Fley­sh ex­plained that Phase 2 is cur­rently be­ing stud­ied, but even­tu­ally the trail will con­nect from Bucki­us Street to Bridge Street. But as con­firmed by the De­part­ment of Streets, build­ing will be­gin soon. 

So what does this mean for those resid­ing in and around the con­struc­tion area of this trail? 

Ac­cord­ing to Fley­sh, a web­site will be cre­ated once the con­tract is awar­ded and con­struc­tion be­gins.  He also as­sured that the com­munity would be in­volved dur­ing the pro­cess. 

“The con­tract­or has a pro­vi­sion in the con­tract to keep the com­munity in­formed.  There will be com­munity meet­ings.”  The Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion will also have up­dates as they are avail­able on their web­site, ht­tp://drcc-phila.org/

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