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Philly's First Major Roadway Built in 30 Years Now Open

Philly's roads have been re-surfaced, re-paved, and re-directed, but it's been almost three decades since the city has constructed a new major roadway. Today, phase 1A of the Delaware Avenue Extension—a roadway extending from Lewis to Orthodox Street—was dedicated today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Michael Nutter and other city officials. The new 0.6-mile-long segment now connects the industrial neighborhoods Port Richmond and Bridesburg. It also includes a new bridge over Frankford Creek and an extension of a 12-foot-wide shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists that adds to Circuit Trail and East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile multi-use trail that runs from Maine to Florida.

"This project allows sharing of the road with all users—pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. All users have the right to use roads safely," said Mayor Nutter at the ceremony.

The $14.5 million roadway, which was almost 30 years in the making, was designed to relieve traffic congestion from Richmond Street, as well as provide people with a "chance to recreate in what was once an inaccessible part of the city," said Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for environmental and community resources. "Now people can see industrial areas of the city that they haven't seen before."

The second phase of the two-mile Delaware Avenue North Extension is slated to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2018. It will connect Orthodox and Buckius streets.