PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With a new park ready to sprout in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge, trees were being planted today in preparation for next month’s opening of the new Race Street Pier, on the Delaware riverfront.

As crews offloaded the first 20-foot tree, a variety commonly known as white swamp oak, contractor Joe Madden of AP Construction liked what he saw as Pier 11 was about to be repurposed (see previous story).

“It was an old, abandoned pier. Basically, they’re putting a nice park on the pier,” he told KYW Newsradio.

Then, as the tree was hauled into position by a forklift, Madden sized it up to make sure it was properly situated.

“That is a big tree for a planting.  We can’t have it too high or too low, so it doesn’t affect the next tree that comes in here,” he explained.

All told, they are installing 37 of the trees, which will provide instant impact along the waterfront just south of the bridge.

The pier itself is designed in two levels — an upper level promenade and a lower terrace, which will feature a lawn for social gatherings.

The Race Street Pier is scheduled to open on May 12th.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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