Dog Park Falls Victim to Planned Bridge

Park users are upset about the elimination of trees & a dog park

By Brandon Rook
|  Monday, Jun 27, 2011  |  Updated 11:52 PM EDT
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Pet lovers who frequent the dog park at Schuylkill River Park are at odds with a city plan to build a pedestrian bridge that would eliminate the popular dog park.

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Byron Scott

Pet lovers who frequent the dog park at Schuylkill River Park are at odds with a city plan to build a pedestrian bridge that would eliminate the popular dog park.

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Some dog lovers aren't loving a construction project that would take out a busy Center City dog park.

Philadelphia is set to begin a $5.8 million bridge construction project Tuesday that will affect the look and usefulness of Schuylkill River Park.

The plan is to build a 16-foot-wide pathway that sticks out into the Schuylkill River -- expanding the current Schuylkill River Path down to South Street. A 96-foot bridge will begin at the popular Schuylkill River Park and cross the CSX railroad tracks onto the new walk.

The elimination of the dog park and more than two-dozen trees were the hot topic at a community meeting Monday night. Some residents were even putting together a last-minute injunction to try and halt construction.

An injunction hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to attorney Damon Roberts.

For now the project is set to start as planned.

“We were really disappointed cause we just moved here a week ago and the whole reason we picked the place we live in is because of the dog park," Kristy Turner told NBC Philadelphia’s Byron Scott.

The bridge is set to open in the fall of 2013. The final plan calls for 35 trees to be planted along with more than 318 shrubs and about 1800 perennials.

Also the city will build two new dog parks that are set to be larger than the one being eliminated, officials said.

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