Hat tip David.
An old bridge is being re-purposed as a bike trail, near Philadelphia.
Oct. 21–In a wind-whipped setting high above the Schuylkill, officials shook hands Thursday over a plan to link the region’s trail system by running a pathway across the old Manayunk railroad bridge, creating a “park in the sky.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity we have to personally, economically, and physically unite the city with the suburbs,” Mayor Nutter said.
The ceremony at midspan launched a $1.5 million project that when complete — estimated at 18 months from now — will use the bridge as a greenway for hikers, bikers, and joggers.
The bridge will connect the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Lower Merion Township with the Ivy Ridge Trail in Philadelphia. Someday, planners project, it will be possible to get on a bike in the city and ride by trail to the farthest reaches of the suburbs, or the reverse.
Built by the former Schuylkill Valley Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, it is notable as a large concrete open spandrel arch bridge built on a reverse curve, earning both the current bridge and its 1883 wrought-iron-truss predecessor the nickname of “S-Bridge.” SEPTA acquired the bridge in 1976 for its Cynwyd Line.
The bridge’s challenging geometry was executed by T. L. Eyre, a Philadelphia contractor. Another notable feature is the saw-toothed construction joints along a 65-degree skew. Weather-related expansion and contraction of the bridge, coupled with corrosion of its internal steel reinforcement, led to its closure by SEPTA on October 25, 1986.