Bicycle Coalition

As all who use MLK Drive know, the condition of the MLK Bridge (over the Schuylkill River), the MLK Path and the Drive itself are all in deteriorated condition.

Here’s an update on their status that we have learned from the lead agencies.

MLK path (between the Schuylkill River and East Falls Bridge) – Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is lead on this project. PPR received a $400,000 grant in 2016 to rebuild the nearly four mile path. Since 2016, the cost increased substantially and is now estimated to be a $3.2 Million. The design phase is supposed to wrap up by end of 2019. The Streets Department conducted the full survey, which is now complete. PPR still needs to raise the final $250,000, and recently submitted a proposal to the PA Department of Economic and Community Development. BCGP staff have arranged to meet the new State Representative to ask for her support on this project. If all goes well, construction will start in 2020.

MLK Bridge (over the Schuylkill River)– Philadelphia Streets Department is the lead on this project. This bridge has been in the “queue” for years; other City bridges have taken priority, but now it’s finally at the top of the City’s bridge list. Streets has submitted a prelim design to PennDOT for approval that increases the width of the bridge so that it can have a two-way side path. The Department is awaiting approval from PennDOT. BCGP has requested that a public meeting be held before the end of 2019 for the Department to describe the design for the Bridge.

MLK Drive (between East Falls and Eakins Oval) – Philadelphia Streets is lead here, as well. The roadway is slated to be entirely repaved by the City in the 2020 or 2021 paving season. A lane reduction north of Montgomery Drive may be in the works. BCGP requested reconfiguring of the curb radii at Sweet Briar to slow down turning vehicles. In the meantime, BCGP submitted over 50 photos of potholes and seams that needed filling to the Streets Department.  The pothole crew went to some of the sections during this past spring, but some remain to be done, particularly between Montgomery Drive and the Bridge.

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