SCHUYLKILL RIVER SWING BRIDGE

PHILADELPHIA, PA

McCormick Taylor provided environmental services for this project to repurpose the existing abandoned Conrail railroad swing bridge into a new pedestrian swing bridge.

CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN, ENVIRONMENTAL , GOVERNMENT, INFRASTRUCTURE, COMMUNITY

THE CHALLENGE

The Schuylkill River Swing Bridge project is located in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Grays Ferry. The existing structure, owned by Conrail, is a railroad swing bridge constructed for the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad and previously carried heavy rail road freight across the Schuylkill River. The rail line was abandoned and the swing bridge had been locked in the open position since 1976 to allow maritime traffic to travel north of the bridge on the Schuylkill River.

 

The project proposed to connect the east bank of the Grays Ferry Crescent trail to the Bartram’s Mile trail located on the west bank of the river. The project will rehabilitate or replace the existing swing bridge.

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HOW WE HELPED

McCormick Taylor provided environmental services for the Schuylkill River Swing Bridge project, which included preparing the Level 2 Categorical Exclusion document and preparing the following permits for the project:

  • A Joint Application for the Pennsylvania Chapter 105 and 106 Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit

  • A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit

  • A U.S. Coast Guard Section 9 Bridge permit because the Schuylkill River is navigable

RESULTS 

The project was identified as a high priority of the Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation’s Schuylkill River Trail Plan. The new swing bridge provides safe, recreational passage for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the river while also maintaining access for maritime traffic traveling along the Schuylkill River. The bridge also provides an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and reliable vital link between the two trail segments to create a more complete network and ensures reliable maritime access along the river.

rendering of bridge
A rendering of the proposed bridge