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City Accepting Bids for Manayunk Bridge Project

Plans are underway to turn the retired Manayunk Bridge into a pedestrian and bicyclist trail.

It's a landmark--the Manayunk Bridge.

It was originally built in 1918 to replace an even older railroad bridge.  It's carried cargo and passenger trains, but it's been unused since 1986.  

Soon, that's going to change.

The City of Philadelphia announced last month that they would begin to advertise for bids to rehab the bridge to turn it into a usable outdoor space complete with walking and biking trails.

According to a plan by Interface Studio, the 28-feet wide rail bed would connect Manayunk pedestrians to the Lower Merion Cynwyd Hertiage Trail.

In an ideal world, bicyclists and pedestrians would be able to use the Cynwyd Heritage trail to cross over the Manayunk Bridge and connect with the yet to be built Ivy Ridge Trail.

From there, the goal would be to connect the Ivy Ridge Trail to the Shawmont Trail that connects to the Schuylkill River Trail, which connects to multiple points west including Phoenixville, Reading and Pottsville.

Basically, people would be able to use a system of trails to go from Lower Merion all the way up to Pottsville in coal country.

Pedestrians would be able to access the Manayunk Bridge Trail from the corner of High and Dupont Streets, providing people using the bridge with access to Main Street.

According to the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities, construction could begin as early as the middle of spring-2014, and construction is estimated to take about a year.

The Mayor's Office also said that the City of Philadelphia will manage the construction project, but the project is being funded with a combination of City funds, a PennDOT Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative (PCTI) grant, Lower Merion Township, and Montgomery County.  

The bridge will become the first exclusive pedestrian/bicycle bridge spanning the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.




Renee Crabill January 24, 2014 at 07:59 AM
Exciting news! I think this would be great!

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