The Philly region suffered severe damage and flooding as Hurricane Ida swept through last week. Heavy rain and tornadoes sent many of us into our basements to ride out the storm, and, when it was over, I-676 had become a canal through Center City and several river-adjacent areas of the city — like Manayunk, West Philadelphia and western Center City — were under water. Currently, the gates along Schuylkill Banks are shut indefinitely for repairs.
Given the Schuylkill River Trail runs along, well, the Schuylkill River, the region’s most-used bike and pedestrian path got hit hard, too. But after a lot of work on behalf of a lot of organizations and government agencies, the SRT is open, with a few exceptions. We created this map to show the damage, which will be updated accordingly.
Schuylkill Banks: Mostly Open
The Schuylkill River Development Corporation had an open call over the holiday weekend for anyone who wanted to help clean the trail and boardwalk. Many of you responded and made your way over! As of Tuesday, Schuylkill Banks is clear.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped clean up the trail over the last few days! We still have a lot to do to get the trail back to normal. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer. #schuylkillbanks #philadelphia pic.twitter.com/PTNGzckqKa
— Schuylkill Banks (@SchuylkillBanks) September 7, 2021
As noted by SRDC, Grays Ferry Crescent hasn’t been completely cleared yet, but it’s passable from the Schuylkill Avenue and Wharton Street entrance to just north of the Grays Ferry Avenue entrance.
Additionally, there is a layer of mud on the GFC trail just west of the 34th Street entrance and at the fishing plaza. Bartram’s Mile is clear on the north side of 49th Street and at 56th Street.
MLK Drive: Open, Mostly Passable
Although it got badly hit last week, MLK Drive is open, though there are several spots where mud is an issue. Be prepared to get off your bike in certain spots and walk.
Schuylkill River Trail, between the Art Museum and Manayunk: Open, Mostly Passable
You can use the SRT along Kelly Drive to commute between Manayunk and Center City, but there will be a few hitches along the way.
A Bicycle Coalition staff member who commuted Tuesday morning from Midvale in East Falls noted she had to get off her bike at the Columbia Train Bridge and walk to higher ground, then was able to get back on her bike and come into the City without a problem, other than the dust and small layer of dirt along the trail in spots. Still, there is a lot of damage along the trail and it seems possible the trail will be closed for maintenance at some point in the future.
Manayunk Tow Path: Closed
As noted in a previous blog post, the Tow Path is closed indefinitely between Lock Street and Shawmont Avenue, as it, Main Street Manayunk, and Venice Island, all suffered serious damage. See that post here. We will keep everyone updated on when the path is back in working condition, or even when we hear about a timeline.
SRT in Montgomery County: Depends
The Schuylkill River Trail in Montgomery County sustained heavy damage and mud is still being cleared. Due to storm damage, County Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites situated along waterways are closed through Monday, September 6 and may be closed longer depending on damage.
This includes Lock 60; Upper Valley Schuylkill Park (The lower parking lot, boat slip, fishing pier, and Schuylkill East Trail entrance are all closed but the upper lot is open); Lower Perkiomen Valley Park; Central Perkiomen Valley Park; Lorimer Park; and Pennypack Trail. The Perkiomen Trail is open from Cider Mill Road to Route 29 (Perkiomenville). Bridge 99 from this point after Route 29 is closed and there is no access to Green Lane Park from the Perkiomen Trail due to the bridge closure.
SRT in Berks and Schuylkill Counties: Open
SRT in Berks and Schuylkill Counties is all open. The trail in these counties did not sustain significant damage and managed to get the major cleaning up done within a day. Some of the trailheads still have some mud debris, but Schuylkill River Greenways are working on clearing that.
This is a changing situation and we will update as more information comes in.