Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk Connects Philadelphians

Peak Johnson, for GPA -- Opened on October 2nd, the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is a 2,000-foot long concrete structure running parallel to the Eastern Shore of the river from Locust St. to the new stair tower on the southern side of the South Street Bridge. This project provides an important link to the Schuylkill River Trail and Center City from University City and West Philadelphia.

Runners, cyclists and others who frequent the Schuylkill River trail will now be able to extend their route with this newest addition.

“The boardwalk section of the trail will provide an important transportation link for cyclists and pedestrians between and among Center City, South Philadelphia and West Philadelphia,” Mayor Michael Nutter said during the boardwalk’s groundbreaking ceremony. “The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk project, now that it is complete, will go from a street departments construction project to become officially a part of the Fairmount Park system under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department.”

The ramp and boardwalk are designed to accommodate emergency and maintenance vehicles, according to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC). The boardwalk’s 15 foot wide pathway is supplemented by four widened overlooks that allow people to rest and enjoy the views along the boardwalk without blocking the trail.

The Boardwalk has received federal stimulus funding through the Transportation Improvements Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program and other funding from the Federal Highway Administration, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia.

“We look forward to continuing to extend the trail south of South Street to Bartram’s Garden in partnership with SRDC and eventually all the way to the Delaware River,” Mayor Nutter continued. “We still have a long way to go in that respect, literally. We have a few more miles to go. Today we’re happy to celebrate this addition to our extensive network of trails throughout the city and our region.”

The groundbreaking event marked the last ribbon cutting of seven critical trail connections that the TIGER grant program has funded since 2009.

Mayor Nutter expects that in the fall of next year Philadelphia will be celebrating the opening of the Manayunk bridge trail, making a new connection between Philadelphia and Montgomery County with access to SEPTA.

Image courtesy of Hidden City Philadelphia.