The latest segment of The Circuit Trails
network to break ground is the first stretch of the trail to directly connect two parks, says Delaware River City Corporation
(DRCC) Executive Director Tom Branigan.
Phase One of the new K&T trail (so named because it will follow the path of the former Kensington and Tacony railroad) will be a 1.15-mile stretch connecting the Frankford Boat Launch to Lardner’s Point Park
, serving visitors as well as residents of Wissinoming to the south and Tacony to the north.
Phase One of the K&T -- a 12-foot-wide asphalt trail -- has a $2.9 million budget. Directing partners Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and DRCC broke ground on June 9 and anticipate completion in 2017. The trail is part of a much bigger regional picture: It’s one more piece of the 750-mile Circuit
and the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway
Under design since 2008, the trail will move through a riverside right-of-way owned by the City of Philadelphia. The whole length of it will have riverfront views, although the strips of land touching the river are still in the hands of adjacent property owners. And since it’s a heavily industrial area, there will be fencing installed alongside the trail.
"We’re working with the property owners to make sure everything moves smoothly," says Branigan.
Partners hope efforts to acquire the riverfront land will boost the project in the long term.
"We’ll engage various property owners and see about acquiring that small strip of land between the trail and river," he adds.
"And then [we'll] make appropriate improvements."
The trail will also span a small inlet of the river, requiring a bridge.
Currently, landscaping and other amenities include benches, interpretive signage on the wildlife and history of the area, 80 trees, 1,000 shrubs, and thousands more beautifying grasses and perennial plants.
Phase Two of K&T will launch next year, taking the trail up as far as Princeton Avenue; another piece, currently in design and slated for construction in 2018, will go as far north as Rhawn Street.
"We’ll have a good stretch of trail by the end of 2018 or early 2019 that will go from the Frankford Boat Launch all the way up to Pleasantville Park on Linden Avenue," concludes Branigan.
Writer: Alaina Mabaso
Source: Tom Branigan, Delaware River City Corporation