Construction on an expansive elevated Philadelphia park could begin as early as this fall thanks to a $3.5 million grant.
The Center City District announced on Friday that construction of Phase 1 of the Viaduct Rail Park could begin this fall after a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant was awarded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Phase 1 of the project will improve the 1300 block of Noble Street and will transform a quarter-mile portion of the former Reading Viaduct into a green park with lit walking paths, seating, and gathering areas. The viaduct runs from 13th and Nobel streets across 12th Street to Callowhill Street
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The entire Rail Park will connect Fairmount Park with Center City for a length of 3 miles. The trail will run through ten different neighborhoods and will expanse 50 city blocks, all on the tracks of the old Reading Railroad.
“The Viaduct Rail Park will be a welcoming green space amenity for residents, workers, and students from across the city, as well as visitors to Philadelphia,” said Paul R. Levy, President and CEO of the Center City District. “It will also help prompt new business and residential investment in the area. We are grateful to Governor Wolf and all the generous supporters who worked to make this new park a reality.”
The Center City District began the competitive bid process in July 2016 and once a contractor is selected, construction is projected to take 15 to 18 months. The project is being funded through a combination of state, city, foundation and private resources.