Almost 25 years after the closure of the Old Betzwood Bridge , the long-awaited Betzwood Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail Project has taken a step closer to fruition.
J.D. Eckman Inc. has won the construction bid that was put out back in December 5th, 2013 and Notice to Proceed with construction was issued to the contractor on February 3rd, 2014. Construction is expected to begin within the next few months.
The new bridge, which will be named Sullivan's Bridge after Revolutionary War Major General John Sullivan, will be for bicycles and pedestrians only, and is currently on track to be completed by late spring 2016. In addition to the bicycle/pedestrian trail bridge, the project includes the replacement of the Trooper Road Bridge over the Schuykill River Trail and replacement of the superstructure of the bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad Line, as well as improving the roadway and trail approaches to each of the bridges.
Pedestrian and bicycle access between Betzwood and Valley Forge was interrupted in 1991 when the Old Betzwood Bridge, which was constructed in 1777, was closed due to structural issues. The new bridge will restore an important link in The Circuit, connecting the Schuykill River Trail to the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail and providing access from communities in Montgomery County to Valley Forge National Historic Park and the many offices of the Valley Forge-King of Prussia area.
See the attached file for a diagram of the bridge project.
It's official! Although we knew it all along. Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation & Natural Resources declared the Schuylkill River the 2014 winner of its annual river popularity contest.
From Circuit Coalition member Schuylkill River Heritage Area:
"The River of the Year is selected by public vote. The Schuylkill was one of five rivers nominated, and earned 43 percent of the 5,527 votes tallied.The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is now planning a yearlong celebration, with River of the Year activities worked into all of our programming, including the Schuylkill River Sojourn, Pedal and Paddle events, Schuylkill River Trail Bike Tour Series and more. We will also invite our partners to incorporate River of the Year activities into all their river related programs and events.
"We would like to thank the Schuylkill River Development Corp. and Montgomery County, who also nominated the Schuylkill and will partner with us in 2014 to bring some outstanding river programming to southeastern Pennsylvania. It is a statewide honor to be chosen, and our thanks go out to all of the individuals and organizations that endorsed us and voted for the Schuylkill," said Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl.The River of the Year program, which is administered by the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), is designed to raise awareness of the important recreational, ecological, and historical resources associated with PA's rivers and streams."