A recent influx of money—to the tune of $4 million—will help the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation realize their goal of building a public park over I-95.
The grant was awarded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to the DRWC this weekend, with the understanding that a portion of the money will go toward supporting city-wide engagement with the project, according to the DRWC. The rest of the grant will be used to support the general fundraising goals of the project, they said.
“The development of this new space will include a citywide engagement process, enabling residents to shape the project at every stage and to build a place for all Philadelphians,” the foundation said in a statement.
The project has been in talks for about a decade. Last year, Mayor Jim Kenney, The William Penn Foundation, PennDot, and the state, all pledged millions of dollars to the project, until it reached its goal of $225 million last summer. When it’s finished, it will see 11 acres of public space over I-95, down to the river, integrating the city with the waterfront. It’s also likely to have an ice skating rink, restaurants, housing, and hotels, according to original renderings released last year.
The project may mitigate some of the damage done by I-95’s construction in the 1970s, when it effectively cut the city off from its waterfront and hindered development, according to reports.
Representatives for the DRWC say they don’t know yet exactly how the funding from the grant will be used, but that the civic engagement project will allow all Philadelphians to have a say in the development of the new public space.