U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-13, along with other community leaders, broke ground on the Port Richmond Trail restoration project yesterday.
The 1.5-mile L-Shaped section along the Delaware River in northeast Philadelphia will serve as a new recreation outlet for cyclists, runners and pedestrians, and will connect the local community to the river. Schwartz has been a leader in support of the revitalization of the North Delaware Riverfront, including having successfully secured over $40 million in federal investment to support efforts to improve our region’s trails and surrounding areas, with a focus on support for the North Delaware Riverfront.
“It is an honor to be here today to break ground on the Port Richmond Trail Restoration Project, a key part of revitalization efforts along the North Delaware Riverfront,” Schwartz said. “Reconnecting northeast Philadelphia communities with the Delaware River matters deeply to the residents of northeast Philadelphia, for both improved recreational opportunities and to build towards greater local economic development efforts.”
Joining Schwartz were State Sen. Michael Stack; State Rep. John Taylor; Philadelphia Councilman David Oh; Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis; and representatives from the Delaware River City Corporation (DRCC) and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC).
“Aside from being an important connector and a part of a growing regional network, this project shows that if we can green up a gritty landscape like this and create a high-quality recreational experience, we can replicate this anywhere in the city,” DiBerardinis said.
Schwartz helped secure a $23 million federal TIGER grant to repair, reconstruct and improve 16.3 miles of pedestrian and bicycle facilities in order to complete a 128-mile regional network in six counties around Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. A portion of the TIGER grant, $1.74 million, will go to support the Port Richmond Trail Restoration Project.
The Port Richmond Trail is one of the first of many planned construction projects that will eventually bring new life to the Delaware Riverfront and help connect the many now isolated pieces of The Circuit, Greater Philadelphia’s multi-use trail network. The Circuit currently includes 250 miles of trails throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania and plans are in place to connect existing trails and add an additional 500 miles to the system in the coming years. As a key link in the region's trail network, the Port Richmond Trail will serve as a new recreation outlet for cyclists, runners and pedestrians; connect to the Tacony Creek Trail via newly-installed bike lanes on Castor Avenue; and will also offer the community a direct connection to the waterfront via the refurbished Pulaski Park.
The urban trail renewal project, which is slated to be complete by September 2013, includes:
- Removal of some of the existing pavement on wide sections of Delaware Avenue, narrowing crossings to make them safer for pedestrians
- Construction of a 12-foot wide asphalt, multi-use recreational trail on the river (east) side of Delaware Avenue and the south side of Allegheny Avenue
- Creation of a green-space buffer that will serve to protect pedestrians from traffic, creating a new canopy of green all along this industrial riverfront
- More than 200 shade and flowering trees, approximately 300 shrubs and 1,500 grasses and perennials that will greatly improve growing conditions for the plant material.
Information courtesy of Tali Caiazza, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz