By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Work is moving ahead on a recreational trail along the riverbanks of the Schuylkill, in center city, creating a “boardwalk” south of Locust Street that will connect with a ramp up to the South Street Bridge.
Schuylkill River Development Corporation president and CEO Joseph Syrnick says that because of the topography, the next section of the Schuylkill River Trail cannot be extended southward on land.
Currently, trailgoers must turn left at the end of the 1.2-mile paved trail and use the grade crossing at Locust Street, or continue straight ahead and use the connector bridge to span the railroad tracks separating Schuylkill Banks from Schuylkill River Park.
So, Syrnick says, they are building a 2,000-foot-long structure with a concrete deck, running parallel to the shore and extending about 50 feet out over the river, that will run from the dead end of Locust Street at 25th to the South Street Bridge.
“It’ll have nice stainless steel railings and it will be 15 feet wide,” Syrnick tells KYW Newsradio, and will have four expanded “lookout” areas. “It will widen out to 23 feet. So if you wanted to stop and look at the sunset, you have these overlooks at which you could get out of the main path of travel.”
At high tide, the deck will be about six feet above the river surface.
The $17-million project, scheduled to open in August 2014, also includes a 460-foot-long ramp on the north side of the South Street Bridge that will link to the boardwalk, providing handicapped access and an easier path for people with bicycles.