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Bridesburg Park Master Plan Features Meadows, Rain Garden, & Boardwalk

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After seeking input from community members at two public workshops, the Delaware River City Corporation and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation unveiled the final concept and master plan for the new 8.2-acre Bridesburg Park last night at a third neighborhood meeting. Renderings revealed that the planned park will feature a great lawn, a stage, an upper and lower meadow, a rain garden, a boardwalk, an event plaza, picnic pavilions, and a river overlook area. "The residents wanted to have access as close to the river as possible for viewing, and to have plenty of wide open spaces that they could use for multi-purpose activities. And then some quiet places where they could contemplate," said Stephanie K. Craighead, director of planning, preservation, and property management for the parks department. "So all of those are part of the plan, as well parking and restrooms." The estimated cost of the project is anywhere from $5 million to $7 million.

↑ The entrance of the park will feature a covered trellis, public restrooms, a trailhead, and a parking lot. Shrub buffers will shield the lot from the surrounding industrial area and sewer pipe that runs down Orthodox Street.

↑ The trailhead leads to an asphalt path that will loop around the park. Smaller offshoot trails will feature bridges over the rain garden and will lead to the picnic pavilions and event plaza.

↑ A central lawn will feature a stage for performance events. It'll also provide access to the boardwalk along the river. Sylvia Palms of Locus Partners, the architecture and landscape architecture firm that designed the renderings, says they have no plans to touch the existing shoreline, which is made of unstable industrial waste from years of trucks dumping along the embankment.

↑ A stepped lawn terrace will serve as more seating and provide access to the viewing lawn and upper meadow. Palms says the highest point at the top of the lawn terrace is approximately 15 feet.

In addition to the actual park, Locust unveiled plans for streetscape improvements to the .5-mile stretch along Orthodox Street that will connect the Bridesburg neighborhood to the riverfront. "We wanted to create moments along the way to give pause and create green space," explained Locust partner Danielle DiLeo Kim. Those "moments" will occur on curb bump outs, which will also aim to slow traffic, Kim said. A side path will also be incorporated for pedestrians and cyclists and will be separated from the road with foliage. The estimated cost will be $1.25 million to $2 million.

The next stage of the project requires final design approval and fundraising. Construction will follow and is estimated to take 1 to 2 years.

· Philly's first major roadway built in 30 years now open [Curbed Philly]