Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City of Philadelphia officials and federal officials gathered in Northwest Philadelphia to cut the ribbon on the newly constructed Shawmont Trail; officially opening it for public use.
The $1.4 million Shawmont Trail project was led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation along with the Philadelphia Streets Department with funding from the federal government’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant, PennDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration.
“The City of Philadelphia is committed to making the great outdoors and healthy recreation a priority in our transportation strategy,” said Mayor Nutter. “Enormous efforts have been made at local, county, state and federal levels to connect these sections of Schuylkill River Trail, close gaps in the trail, and begin to identify and promote the trail as a single trail and regional asset.”
The Shawmont Trail connects Philadelphia to Montgomery County via a one-mile, natural trail, used heavily by commuters, bicyclists, joggers, runners, hikers and families. The section of trail stretching from Port Royal Avenue to Montgomery County was widened an additional four-feet to comply with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s trail safety standards. The new segment of trail stretching from Shawmont Avenue to Port Royal Avenue allows trail users a safe alternative to sharing the road with automobiles.
Shawmont Trail is part of the larger Schuylkill River Trail and is also part of the Circuit. The Circuit is Greater Philadelphia’s multi-use trail network that connects 250 miles of trails throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with plans to add 500 additional miles of trail to the system over the next 20 years.
“I want to thank the federal government for investing $1.4 Million in constructing the Shawmont Trail through the TIGER grant,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources. “Investments in trails and open spaces are an investment in the City’s future. Beautiful trails make neighborhoods more attractive and provide opportunities for adults and children to connect to nature and engage in active and healthy lifestyles.”
New features of the two-year, $1.4 million project include a 13 ft. high retaining wall, fencing that separates the trail from private property, and new native species planting. Trees and shrubbery will soon be planted to provide a more natural ecosystem and to help reduce storm-water runoff. The project supports Mayor Nutter’s goal of becoming America’s greenest City and encouraging a more active and healthy Philadelphia.
The Shawmont Trail project, one of seven projects awarded in 2010 to the City of Philadelphia totaling $17.2 million, was funded by the Federal Highways Administration, with all construction funding coming from the Federal government’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant. All seven of these projects are either completed or are under construction and will be completed in the near future.
The Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) in Philadelphia is primarily owned, managed, and maintained by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, along with non-profit partners. Other sections of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia have also been constructed with TIGER funds. These include the recently completed Bartram’s Garden Trail, and the Boardwalk and South Street Ramp at the Schuylkill Banks, presently under construction.
About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is the City department that is most engaged in the lives of residents and visitors alike on a daily basis. Through its programs, policies and physical amenities, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation promotes the well being of the City, its citizens and visitors, by offering beautiful natural landscapes and parks, historically significant resources, high quality recreation centers and athletic programs, along with enriching cultural and environmental programs. Visit phila.gov/recreation for more information.
ABOUT THE CIRCUIT
The Circuit is a multi-use trail network that connects 250 miles of trails throughout the Greater Philadelphia area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with plans to add 500 additional miles to the system. When fully complete, The Circuit will help connect people to jobs, recreational opportunities, public transportation and other neighborhoods, and will serve as a gateway to open green space. Support of The Circuit is being led by The Circuit Coalition, a group of nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies working together to raise the profile of this regional trail network, and educate people about the benefits an increased trail network will bring to the region. For more information please visit www.connectthecircuit.org.