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Happy Trails: Major improvements approved for the Delaware River Trail

The City Planning Commission recently approved the Penn Street section of the Central Delaware River Trail. Paired with current improvements being made to the Washington Green section of the trail, this represents a major step towards implementing new design standards for the multipurpose trail. 
 
The Washington Green trail, built in 2010, was laid with basic asphalt and meant to be temporary. Now folks with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation are taking the next steps to make it permanent. "The route is being straightened to bring it closer to the river," explains Karen Thompson of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. "We’re cleaning up the area and removing invasive species to make the trail more user-friendly."
 
Thompson says these improvements are incremental and will bring that portion of the trail more in line with the new Delaware River Waterfront Corporation design standards for the entire trail.   
 
Those final design guidelines will be showcased in the Penn Street portion of the trail. "We’re taking all the recommendations from the Waterfront Master Plan and building it here," says Thompson. "To that effect, sustainable design elements include trail-side rain gardens and solar street lights."
 
The Penn Street trail will connect the future Spring Garden Street greenway to the Central Delaware, where it will run along Delaware Avenue, connect to Penn Street and run though the Sugarhouse Casino parking lot. The Casino has agreed to build the section of the trail through its parking lot, connecting it to an existing trail on the property. 
 
The Commission’s approval was a big milestone for the project because it has allowed the Waterfront Corporation to move forward with implementation. "The project will go out for construction bid in the next few months," says Thompson. "We hope to start construction at the beginning of 2013 and have it finished by Memorial Day." 

Source: Karen Thompson, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
WriterGreg Meckstroth
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