A meeting was held on Monday, January 23, at the Bridesburg Rec to update about the status of the new riverfront park coming to Bridesburg. Convened by Councilmember Mike Driscoll and with Rep. Joe Hohenstein, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), the board and staff at Riverfront North Partnership (RNP) shared the good news that Phase 1 Construction of the long-awaited park will break ground in May 2023.
This 10-acre riverfront park will be located at the end of Orthodox Street. Phase 1 Construction is fully funded and includes a multi-purpose lawn, elevated meadow with nature trails, restrooms, and parking for 40 cars. Security measures include a yellow swing gate and a camera in the parking area. The park will be open from dusk to dawn by PPR Park Rangers.
Fundraising for Phase 2 Construction is underway and the park will eventually include additional amenities like a picnic pavilion, stage pavilion, boardwalk overlook, and terraced lawn seating.
Phase 1 Construction is undergoing two separate bidding processes. The majority of the project is already out for bid through PennDOT and expected to complete in February 2023. It will include everything in Phase 1 Construction except for the bathroom and a portion of the landscaping.
The second bid package will be finalized by May 2023 and will include the restroom and part of the landscaping at a minimum. Because of the volatility of construction costs, the package will not be finalized until the first bid estimates are received. There is a possibility that this bid could include the picnic pavilion or terraced lawn seating slated for Phase 2 Construction, depending on how much construction costs have risen.
Phase 1 Construction will begin in May 2023 and is estimated to take 18 months, ending around December 2024.
The current Advisory Committee – Fred Becker, Rosemarie Conry, Cathie Polakowski, Yvonne Stephens and Adam Visconto – was thanked for their ongoing support and counsel to this project. Community input on the activation of the park is important to its success as it should be reflective of the communities interests, and because activated, well-used spaces make for safe parks. As the park gets closer to construction, the Advisory Committee will grow into an official Park Friends group through the Fairmount Park Conservancy and more community members will be sought to grow this group.
Community members asked about dirt bike/ATV usage and illegal dumping on the trails. These are concerns shared by Riverfront North, which has been working with elected officials, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and City stakeholders to amplify the concerns. It was suggested that community members bring them to the police and attend the PDAC meetings. Bridesburg is located in PDAC 1 for the 15th Police District and the next meeting is this Thursday, January 26, at St Marks on Frankford Avenue.
Stephanie Phillips, RNP Executive Director shared that a Master Site Plan for the Frankford Boat Launch has just been funded and is expected to begin in summer 2023. This will allow a deeper exploration of security, access, and appropriate use of that park and will include significant community input and engagement.
For specific questions or additional information, feel free to contact Gina Craigo, Community Engagement Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-962-8726.