With so much attention on waterfront development in Center City these days, the North Delaware seems lost in the conversation. But that doesn’t mean the stretch of waterfront real estate isn’t seeing its fair share of activity.
Thanks to the Delaware River City Corporation (DRCC)—the organization in charge of spearheading the North Delaware Greenway, an integral part of the much larger East Coast Greenway—trail and open space construction has taken off.
In 2008, the nonprofit’s efforts resulted in the creation of the Pennypack on the Delaware Trail, a paved trail connecting Pennypack Park to Pennypack Creek. Then, in October 2012, DRCC broke ground on the Port Richmond Trail, a 12-foot-wide, 1.5-mile asphalt trail that will connect the Port Richmond neighborhood to the waterfront and extend north along the Delaware. Completion is expected within a year.
Looking forward, the two-mile K&T Trail (planned for an abandoned riverfront freight rail line) is in its final design stage, with construction expected in the next two years. Also on the docket is the Baxter Trail, a two-mile northward extension of the trail from Pennypack Creek.
“By 2014, 60 percent of the Greenway will be built,” says DRCC Executive Director Tom Branigan.
There are still gaps in the 11-mile route that will be difficult to connect due to environmental issues, property rights or other constraints, but Branigan is confident that those lapses can be bridged and the North Delaware Greenway can be completed by 2020.
The DRCC also has an eye towards building even more meaningful connections between the waterfront to its adjacent neighborhoods. "Our ultimate mission is to connect the waterfront to neighborhoods and improve access," explains Branigan, who adds that those efforts won’t be able to take off until current projects are wrapped up.
Source: Tom Branigan, Executive Director, DRCC
Writer: Greg Meckstroth
Original Story here