Philadelphia, March 14, 2011- Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the groundbreaking of the Fairmount Bikeway Improvement Project. Improvements to the Fairmount Bikeway trail, which connects Kelly Drive to the lower Wissahickon and the Schuylkill River Trail to Valley Forge, are expected to be completed by June, 2011.
“Thousands of recreation enthusiasts and commuters use Philadelphia’s trails every day and we want to continue to encourage their healthy lifestyle habits,” said Mayor Nutter. “These improvements are especially important, as the City continues to think innovatively about reducing our carbon footprint. We thank all of our partners for their support of this project.”
Improvements will include a widening of the existing recreation path to improve access along the Schuylkill Trail, upgrades to the existing parking area and safety enhancements that will separate pedestrians and bicyclists from automobile traffic that accesses the parking lot. The $1.1 million project is being funded with a $500,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, a $400,000 Federal Highway Transportation Enhancement Grant that was provided from PennDOT and $200,000 in funding from the William Penn Foundation, provided through the Schuylkill River Greenway Association.
“The Fairmount Bikeway from Falls Bridge to Ridge Avenue is a key link in both Fairmount Park’s multi-use recreational trail system and the larger Schuylkill River Trail, which will ultimately connect Philadelphia to Pottsville in Schuylkill County via a multi-use trail extending the entire length of the river—a distance of approximately 130 miles,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis.