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Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Opens First Segment of Delaware River Trail


June 17, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) achieved a key milestone in implementing the Central Delaware Master Plan and transforming the Delaware River waterfront into a walkable and bikeable destination as Mayor Michael A. Nutter and other local officials officially opened the first permanent segment of the Delaware River trail. The trail is the first of its kind in the city in providing a 12' bi-directional bikeway separated from a 10' pedestrian walkway, all buffered from the street by plantings and a curb. The trail also marks an important stride toward Mayor Nutter's promise in founding DRWC to develop a trail along the Central Delaware River.

In ceremoniously cutting the ribbon on the trail, Mayor Nutter said, "We've raised the bar for Philadelphia by providing a world-class amenity for bikers and pedestrians. This is another example of the type of strategic investment that will attract high-quality private development and new residents to help revitalize the Delaware River Waterfront. I'm looking forward to the finished project, a trail running the length of our central waterfront. My Administration is committed to working with DRWC to accomplish this goal."

Thomas Corcoran, President of DRWC, noted, "Today's opening is the latest in DRWC's step-by-step implementation of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, and a demonstration of the high-quality design we plan to bring to the rest of the Delaware waterfront trail." Running for 1400 linear feet, from Spring Garden Street to Ellen Street, this trail segment incorporates streetscape improvements that will be used for the entire waterfront trail, which will eventually run from Oregon Avenue to Allegheny Avenue. The design includes rain gardens that will collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, as well as beautiful and distinctive street furniture, including benches and bike racks, decorative street pavers, and innovative solar trail lighting.

Development of the trail was a key principle of DRWC's Master Plan for the Central Delaware which was adopted by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission in 2012. DRWC refined the recommendations of the Master Plan by developing trail guidelines and a design for this first trail segment with the engineering and design firm the RBA Group. The trail segment is part of the East Coast Greenway (http://www.greenway.org/index.shtml) and the Circuit (http://connectthecircuit.org/), which provide a crucial bicycle network connection for the city and region. It also creates an important connection to Spring Garden Street, the site of a planned bike trail connecting the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River.

The trail is the culmination of several stages of planning and coordination among city agencies. DRWC worked in close collaboration with the Philadelphia Streets Department and Water Department and PennDOT to design and construct the trail. Construction was coordinated with local residents and businesses, including nearby Yards Brewery, Waterfront Square, and SugarHouse Casino. The trail was designed by RBA Group and constructed by AP Construction with assistance from Johnson, Mirmiran, and Thompson for permitting and construction management. Civic engagement was performed in coordination with the Central Delaware Advocacy Group.

The next segment to be developed will run north from Ellen Street to the waterfront esplanade at SugarHouse Casino, eventually connecting to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. Wendy Hamilton, SugarHouse General Manager, said, "We at SugarHouse are pleased to partner with DRWC and the city to extend the trail north to our existing waterfront trail and help to connect Philadelphians with their waterfront." The SugarHouse trail segment is expected to be completed in Fall 2013 and will be built to the same high standards as the Penn Street segment. The trail was designed and built by DRWC with funding from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the William Penn Foundation.

About DRWC:
DRWC is a 501(c)(3) created in January 2009, exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop and manage the central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia. DRWC is transforming the waterfront into a vibrant destination for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia. For more information, please visit www.delawareriverwaterfront.com.

CONTACT:
Michael Greenle
(202) 997-1827
michael.greenle@gmail.com

Emma Fried-Cassorla
(215) 629-3218
efried-cassorla@drwc.org

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