Well here’s something to smile about! A waterfront park with access to Orthodox Street is coming to Bridesburg, a neighborhood which for too long has missed out on the possibilities offered along the nearby Delaware River bank. The news comes from a joint effort between PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey and Hidden City’s Bradley Maule to examine and report on new developments alongside the North Delaware Riverfront.
Apparently, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Delaware River City Corporation (DRCC) have “nine acres of new waterfront parkland,” which it plans to develop despite there being no financial backing or design just yet. Tom Branigan, director of DRCC, told PlanPhilly that funding would most likely come from city and grant funds.
The land was previously under the hand of the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) who emphasized its industrial use (it's the site of the Philadelphia Coke Co.) when trying to attract buyers, but which, ultimately, resulted in unhappy residents. From PlanPhilly:
“Bridesburg has been cut off from the river for I don’t know how long, probably more than 100 years,” said Tom Branigan, director of DRCC, in an interview with PlanPhilly. “They’ve been looking for park space with access to the river for some time.”
Other portions of the site (over 70 acres) have been sitting vacant for almost twenty years. However, Councilman Bobby Henon and the Planning Commission have been speaking to its owner, a utility company based in London, about "marketing the site for active use" with "industrial activity still on the table."
Meanwhile, other projects by the DRCC include an extension of Delaware Avenue to Orthodox Street, which would incorporate a bike and walking path and is expected to conclude October 2015. Of their successes, the most notable might be the Port Richmond Trail, which is attached to an even larger project:
In the meantime, DRCC is promoting its other projects. This fall, it will hold a 5k run to mark the anniversary of the opening of the Port Richmond Trail, a 1.6-mile portion of the East Coast Greenway, a dreamed-of unbroken path, free of cars, from Maine to Florida.
• New waterfront park coming to Bridesburg [PlanPhilly]
Meanwhile, in other news...
• Schuylkill River Trail extension to improve city connections [Daily Pennsylvanian]
• Spring Garden continues to grow [Inquirer]
• Rodeph Shalom As A Beacon On North Broad [Hidden City]
• Building hope [Northeast Times]
• Rear of Row Home Crumbles [NBC10]