The land between the railroad tracks and the river becomes too narrow to continue the Schuylkill River Trail southward on land past Locust Street. To solve this problem, the City of Philadelphia and SRDC built a 2,000 foot long concrete structure running parallel to the eastern shore of the river from Locust Street to the new stairtower on the south side of the South Street Bridge.
The Grays Ferry Crescent Fishing Pier is a special feature along the river. The pier, originally a fire pier for DuPont Chemical’s Marshal Labs, was in a deteriorated condition and unsafe for use. Urban Engineers developed a method to structurally strengthen the pier to allow pedestrian loads. Simone-Collins provided amenities to the pier, including a bench and lighting, beckoning trail users out over the river. Construction was performed by Seravalli Inc.
The Schuylkill Banks Bridge Lighting project upgraded and restored the enhancement lighting that was originally installed as part of the City's Millennium Celebration in 1999. This includes flood lighting, LED string lighting and pier lights. The Walnut Street, Market Street, JFK Boulevard, and SEPTA Bridges fixtures have been refurbished to provide dependable and energy efficient service. Design was executed by Burris Engineers. Work was performed by Carr & Duff, Inc. This project was funded by a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant.
SRDC has rehabilitated approximately 200 feet of the Schuylkill Banks North End Lower Trail. The Lower Trail is an offshoot of the main Schuylkill Trail, near the tidal beach between Vine Street and the Martin Luther King Drive entrance.
Rehabilitation included the installment of gabion baskets beneath the trail, a new catch basin and inlet grate, and native landscaping on the lower bank to control erosion and better manage stormwater runoff. The Lower Trail is covered with a new layer of gravel, making it leveler and easier to use.
A 9/11 Memorial was installed on the east side of the Schuylkill river, just south of the Chestnut St. bridge. This memorial honors all of the victims and heroes of the attacks on September 11, 2001, including those Philadelphians who perished in the World Trade Center on that tragic day.
The Port Authority of PA and NJ gave the Schuylkill River Development Corporation and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to create the 9/11 Memorial on Schuylkill Banks. The project was completed in August of 2012.
The former roadway layout of the Walnut Street Bridge provided 4 wide traffic lanes, a bike lane and two 8’ sidewalks. Adjustments were considered to meet the heavy pedestrian and bicycle use of this crossing. Detailed traffic analyses determined that reducing the number of lanes from 4 to 3 and decreasing the lane widths would not only allow for wider 12’ sidewalks but also calm traffic. Designs also called for replacing the large, overhead I-76 signs with smaller signs placed on poles at the sides of the roadway to make the bridge feel less like a highway.
As a result of an agreement negotiated between the City of Philadelphia and CSX, crossing gates have been provided at the Locust Street and Race Street at-grade access points to Schuylkill Banks. These gates close when there is train traffic, but pedestrians are able to open the gates once the crossing points are clear.
The construction of a Greenway along the east bank of the river from 34th Street to Wharton Street provided long awaited access to the river for neighborhoods in South and Southwest Philadelphia. The project provides 4,036 feet of bicycle and pedestrian trail, plus several walking trails totaling another 2,171 feet.
The Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department installed a composting toilet on Schuylkill Banks near Walnut Street in August and September 2010. Special care was taken to keep the facility as small as possible and to fit it seamlessly into the Schuylkill Banks landscape.