New K&T Rail Trail Segment Breaks Ground

PEC joined partners from Riverfront North, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the City of Philadelphia, and local communities to celebrate the groundbreaking of a segment of the K&T rail trail. The segment will close a gap between Lardner’s Point Park at the base of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and the Tacony Boat Launch. Though only half a mile long, this section will be an important link in the Circuit Trails network and the East Coast Greenway. The trail will also help restore riverfront and recreation access to neighborhoods that have been cut off from the Delaware for decades by industrial sites and highway corridors.

I attended the ceremony representing PEC and the Circuit Trails. For me, the event was a huge tour down memory lane, since PEC has been involved with this project for nearly 20 years. I found myself talking about how PEC facilitated the transaction to acquire the Conrail right of way and convey it to the City of Philadelphia in the 2000’s. After several disputes over land ownership that took years to sort out, here we are, building that half mile of trail at long last! The first piece of the K&T opened following construction of the new Lardner’s Point Park, which PEC helped plan, in roughly 2012. Another piece opened in 2017 and now this last piece will open in 2024. When complete, the North Delaware River trail will run 11 miles from Pulaski Park in Port Richmond to the historic Glen Foerd mansion.

This is one of several BIG trail connections announced for the Philadelphia region in the past few months in which PEC played a formative role. In August, the Spring Garden Street Greenway, another critical gap for the Circuit Trails and East Coast Greenway, received the funding it needed to move forward. As with the K&T trail, PEC has been working for years to make the Spring Garden Street Greenway a reality. We’re very excited to see all these projects finally coming together!