Project will reshape Bridesburg, Port Richmond neighborhoods with improved traffic access to waterfront businesses and with new trail connection for residents
Philadelphia, December 8, 2015 — Mayor Michael A. Nutter and City leaders gathered with members of the Bridesburg community to celebrate the dedication of Phase 1 of the Delaware Avenue Extension, a new roadway and trail project built along the Delaware Riverfront Greenway in Northeast Philadelphia. The extension, connecting Port Richmond to Bridesburg, includes a 0.6-mile section of new roadway, a bridge over the Frankford Creek and a multi-use trail segment extending from Lewis Street to Orthodox Street. In addition to connecting the communities, the project provides a vital, direct route to and from I-95 for the industries situated north of Lewis Street, improving access for these waterfront businesses and relieving the Bridesburg community of large truck traffic on their neighborhood streets.
“This project shows just how much progress can happen when public and private stakeholders work together,” Mayor Nutter said. “Philadelphia’s Streets Department and Delaware River City Corporation have led this effort which has been in the works for more than 15 years, and today, with the dedication of this new, critical link, we begin to reshape transportation and recreation in these historic neighborhoods.”
The federally funded project, which cost $14.5 million, began in March 2014 and was designed by Urban Engineers, Inc., with Buckley Company, Inc. performing the construction. The extension cuts through former industrial park areas and other space and includes two 15-foot-wide road lanes bordered by a six-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side and a 10-foot to 12-foot-wide, multi-use asphalt trail on the east side. The project also includes significant new landscaping; storm-water inlets and pipes; street lights; and a new 160-foot-wide long bridge over Frankford Creek. A new water main will also be installed north of the creek.
“This is an important day for Bridesburg and the city at large,” said Streets Commissioner David J. Perri. “The project has transformed access to the riverfront, creating a new route and a new destination that’s clean, green and safe for those who live, work and visit here.”
The multi-use trail component of the Delaware Avenue Extension is part of the Circuit, a network of hundreds of miles of trails throughout a nine-county region in Pennsylvania and South Jersey. This new segment adds to the Circuit’s total of 300 miles of completed trails; an additional 50 miles are currently in development throughout the region.
The trail also represents an extension of Philadelphia’s segment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile, multi-use trail that runs from Maine to Florida. The roadway is managed by the Streets Department and the Delaware Riverfront Greenway is being developed by the Delaware River City Corporation.
“This project is a perfect example of Delaware River City Corporation’s mission,” said Tom Branigan, DRCC’s executive director. “Our chairman and founder, former Congressman, Bob Borski, envisioned our work as reconnecting people, businesses and neighborhoods in the areas surrounding the river by redeveloping underutilized riverfront property. This first phase of the Delaware Avenue Extension does just that, and there is more good work to come.”
The first phase of the project is 0.6 miles of a two-mile road that will eventually extend from Lewis Street to the Frankford Boat Launch and connect to I-95. The second phase, set to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2018, will continue the extension of Delaware Avenue from north of Orthodox Street to Buckius Street.
Also in development is a new riverfront park in Bridesburg, a 10-acre park that will be connected to the Delaware Avenue Extension. Final park designs will be presented at a public community meeting on Dec. 16, 2015.
For more information, log on to: http://www.delawareaveextension.com/.
About the Delaware River City Corporation:
The Delaware River City Corp. (DRCC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to transform the underutilized North Delaware riverfront corridor in Northeast Philadelphia by reconnecting the people, places, businesses, and neighborhoods of the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding region to the Delaware River while simultaneously promoting a diversity of uses through implementation of the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway Plan. The mission of the DRCC is to complete and sustain the riverfront trail and network of parks along the Delaware River that connect residents of urban neighborhoods to nature, offering unparalleled recreational, community building, and environmental education activities. The DRCC was formed in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by former Congressman Robert Borski. In 2006, the City of Philadelphia named the DRCC to facilitate the implementation of the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway Plan.
About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation:
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of public land and waterways as well as through safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR helps Philadelphia’s children and other residents grow by connecting them to the natural world, to each other, and to fun, physical and social opportunities. For more information, find Philadelphia Parks & Recreation online at www.phila.gov/parksandrecreation and follow @philaparkandrec on social media
About the Circuit Trails:
Greater Philadelphia is the proud home of the Circuit, a vast regional trail network, composed of hundreds of miles of interconnected trails, that is growing in size each year. One of America’s largest trail networks, the Circuit is composed of 300 miles of completed trails with a vision of completing 750 miles of trails across the nine-county region in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A collaboration of nearly 65 nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies is working to advance the completion of the Circuit Trails. A premiere regional amenity, the Circuit Trails connect people to jobs, communities, parks and waterways. Learn more atConnecttheCircuit.org and connect with the Circuit Trails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out what is happening #onthecircuit.
About Philadelphia Streets Department:
The Streets Department’s mission is to provide CLEAN, GREEN AND SAFE streets in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The department is responsible for services ranging from curbside trash and recycling collection, to providing street lighting and snow removal, to the construction and maintenance of 320 bridges and 2,575 miles of streets and highways. Annually, the Sanitation Division collects and disposes of approximately 566,000 tons of rubbish and over 120,000 tons of recycling. There are three divisions in the Streets Department: Sanitation, Transportation and Administration. Each division plays a significant role in managing the day-to-day operations of the department. Visit www.philadelphiastreets.com and follow @philastreets on social media to learn more.