PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Tuesday afternoon for the Race Street Pier, the first new public space of its kind on the central Delaware River waterfront.

Just at the base of the Benjamin Franklin bridge is the old Pier 11, which will open next spring as a new open green space.

race st pier rendering Groundbreaking Held For New Park At Foot Of Race Street

(Artist's rendering of new waterfront park decorates a fence near the Benj. Franklin Bridge.)

Tom Corcoran is president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation:

“You’re going to see a spectacular open green space that will have viewing areas, beautiful views of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  At daytime it’s going to be a wonderful place to meet and just relax; at nighttime it’s going to have very dramatic lighting.”

And to make it easier for the public to access the new park, a new Race Street connector will improve the area along Race Street between Second Street and Columbus Boulevard, so visitors will able to travel more easily beneath I-95 to get to the new park.

Meanwhile, DRWC is seeking to plant 37 trees needed for the new park.

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060.

Photos by Karin Phillips

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