PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of Philadelphia’s more vibrant neighborhoods will be getting a little brighter over the next few years.
Funding for the long-awaited Manayunk Bridge lighting project has been secured. It’ll be awhile before it’s completed, but anticipation is building.
“It’s exciting to see it happening because it’s part of opening it up as more of a commuter trail because right now it locks at night,” says Manayunk resident Kevin Smith.
Smith and other neighbors attended a project progress meeting this week. Planners like Jeff Riegner with Whitman, Requardt and Associates discussed some ideas and options.
“We really think it’s going to be beautiful because the lights are going to highlight the design of the bridge,” Riegner says. “They’re designed to light the bridge surface itself to minimize the amount of spill-over to surrounding areas, which is really important from a historic perspective as well as, I’m sure, neighbors will appreciate it.”
He says the bridge lights should also make traveling between Manayunk and Montgomery County more flexible.
“They’ll have an opportunity to, for example, come from Lower Merion Township to Main Street in Manayunk. They don’t have to worry about getting back onto the bridge at a particular time, they can enjoy themselves, then walk back home,” said Riegner.
“Sort of tourism, part recreational, part commuter,” adds Smith “That’s what’s really cool about it, it’s really blending all those things together.”
Riegner hopes the lights will allow the bridge to stay open 24/7, although he says that’s not a guarantee at this time.
The project is scheduled to begin next summer, and is expected to be completed by Spring 2019.