A towering reminder of a failed transportation project along the Delaware River is being flattened at Penn's Landing.
A concrete support beam for the failed aerial tram that was to connect Philadelphia's waterfront with Camden, New Jersey, began this month, a spokesperson for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation said.
The pi-shaped structure was poured in 2002 to buttress the Skylink Aerial Tram, a cable tram car system designed to ferry thousands of passengers a hour across the Delaware River from 160 feet in the air.
Shortly after construction began, however, the development project it was part of – that included a shopping mall and movie theatre – stalled and eventually was scrapped. A reported $15 million was spent on tram infrastructure by the Delaware River Port Authority before the project's cancellation.
For 18 years, the pillar stood between a parking lot and pedestrian promenade south of Market Street like a Brutalist installation. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation eventually dressed it up with a welcome sign.
Almaz Crowe, Director of Communications & Marketing at DRWC said that demolition began this month after Gov. Tom Wolf lifted coronavirus pandemic restrictions on construction projects.
The work is part of the large redevelopment project for the waterfront that includes capping a portion of Interstate 95 and turning the reclaimed area into a large multilayered park called The Park at Penn's Landing.
Demolition is expected to be finished mid-July at a cost of $700,000. The land will be returned to the parking lot and be landscaped, Crowe said.