The City of Philadelphia announced on Tuesday that lighting on the Manayunk Bridge will begin later this month and is expected to be complete by early 2022.
Once complete, the Bridge, which connects the Manayunk neighborhood in Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County, will be open and accessible 24 hours a day.
This has been one of the most-requested upgrades commuters have asked the Bicycle Coalition about since the Bridge opened in 2015.
Because the bridge closes at dusk and opens at dawn, it hasn’t been of use for daily commuters who would otherwise travel to and from work using the bi-county bridge.
Currently, the trail is only open during daylight hours (8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. from April to November and 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. over the winter months), though we have heard complaints claiming the gates were either closed too early or opened too late, which kept some commuters away. After the lighting is installed, this will no longer be an issue.
As noted in the City’s press release, the upgrades are about accessibility:
Lighting and security cameras will ensure a safe public amenity for all, including both commuters and recreational users. In addition, the iconic bridge will now be lit at night, enhancing the aesthetics of the Manayunk neighborhood.
“As residents look to get outdoors and use more sustainable transportation methods, our trail system has become more popular than ever before,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Philadelphia’s 184 miles of trails connect us to nature and each other. We are excited to make investments that ensure our trail network is safe, well maintained, and accessible to all.”
Construction begins later this month and is expected to be complete in early 2022. The trail will remain open during construction.