By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront should be a natural recreation and tourist area, but its potential has been snarled in 12 lanes of traffic. I-95 creates an unattractive barrier, but the city is ready to move ahead on a remedy.

Mayor Jim Kenney will propose putting $90 million in the six-year capital program for a cap over the highway that would double as a park, providing a pleasant, green gateway to Penn’s Landing.

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“You stand at Front and Chestnut [Streets] and you look towards the river and what you see is concrete,” Kenney said. “If you stand at Front and Chestnut hopefully five, six years from now, you’ll see the river.”

Kenney estimates the total cost of the project at about $250 million. The rest of the funding would come from the state and foundations.

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The city estimates a return on investment of $1.6 billion over 25 years.

“That’s going to be great for businesses in Old City, Society Hill and the Historic area,” the mayor said.

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The cap/park would stretch from Walnut Street to Chestnut Street, creating an 11-acre space, with trees, paths and fountains, a destination in itself.