The central segment of the Delaware River Trail will run between Washington Avenue and Spring Garden Street on the east side of Columbus Boulevard/Delaware Avenue. It advances a key recommendation of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, which identified a continuous multi-use trail running the length of the waterfront as a critical element of the Plan’s vision. It has been designed with a team led by NV5 to improve safety for all modes of travel along Columbus Boulevard, accommodating walkers, joggers, and cyclists and providing clear separation from motorists.
This continuation of the DRT uses the design and engineering shown in the construction of the Penn Street Trail, the first showpiece section running between Spring Garden Street and Penn Street that opened in 2013. Work is currently underway in both the North and South sections of the DRT, which will link to create a 3.4 mile contiguous protected bike and pedestrian trail.
The multi-use trail helps to fill a gap in the city’s existing bicycle network by providing a protected lane for walkers, joggers, and cyclists along the high-trafficked Columbus Boulevard. It also provides a link between waterfront parks and destinations like the Race Street Pier, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and Winterfest, Spruce Street Harbor Park Sustained by Univest and Washington Avenue Pier. The trail will also create direct and easy connections to existing and planned parts of the city’s bicycle network as well as the larger Circuit Trails network.
Key design features include a curb-separated, bi-directional asphalt bicycle path and separate pedestrian sidewalk as well as new landscaping, pedestrian lighting, and street furnishings. The trail varies in width based on the availability of public right-of-way, reaching a maximum of 38’, allowing generous landscaped buffers to protect different modes of travel and provide an attractive addition to the waterfront experience. The trail takes advantage of the space currently used as a sidewalk and a bike lane to create a safer and more pleasant experience for all users.
The construction of this segment of the DRT will be the first step in the implementation of the ambitious Penn’s Landing Redevelopment Project. That project, which is funded through PennDOT, City of Philadelphia, and philanthropic sources, also funds the construction of the new cap over I-95 between Chestnut and Walnut Streets and the extension of the South Street Pedestrian Bridge. While engineering and design of those infrastructure elements are expected to be completed in about two and a half years, the design of the DRT was accelerated and is anticipated to begin construction in early 2020 and be completed ahead of the construction of the cap and the extension of the South Street Pedestrian Bridge.
DRT Central FAQ