PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia and Montgomery County officials met for a ceremonial handshake today on the long-closed rail bridge in Manayunk to launch plans for a pedestrian-and-bike trail running between Lower Merion and Manayunk.

The span, which carried the old Penn Central line to Norristown, was closed years ago and track and ties pulled up.

Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter made the approach to SEPTA for access, and committed city funding as well as other support.

“This is going to be a spectacular project for the city — not only a great trail, but the views are just incredible into Philadelphia, into Lower Merion, into Montgomery County. And, we’re very, very excited about this,” the mayor said today.

Montgomery County commissioner Joe Hoeffel agreed.

“I think Lower Merion folks will throng across this bridge, to go shopping and eating in the restaurants of Manayunk. I think Manayunk residents will swarm up here just to get a great view of their neighborhood that they’ve never seen,” Hoeffel said.

Officials say that pieces of the funding puzzle still need to be assembled, and expectations are the bridge and trail will open sometime in 2013.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060



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