Phoenixville OKs $100K for Schuylkill River Trail bridge crossing - The Mercury

PHOENIXVILLE — Crossing the Schuylkill River bridge between Mont Clare and Phoenixville on bike, or on foot, will soon be much safer.

In order to keep a project 20 years in the making on track, Phoenxiville Borough Council voted 7-1 Tuesday night to spend $100,000 toward the cost of a project to widen the sidewalks on the bridge.

The purpose of the $1.4 million project is to improve access to the Schuylkill River Trail.

Councilwoman Dana Dugan cast the vote against the move, saying she questioned why the borough should be fronting $100,000 with no pledges of funding from the other municipalities that will benefit — Chester County, Montgomery County and Upper Providence Township.

But Board President James Kovaleski said he is willing to take that risk and seek contributions from the other three "on the back end," in order to keep the project moving forward.

The project calls for narrowing the travel lanes for vehicles on the bridge in order to widen the sidewalk that crosses on the bridge on the north side to nine feet.

That will leave room for a concrete barrier between the vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists.

When complete, the widened path will provide a crucial link between where the Schuylkill River Trail, traveling upriver from Valley Forge to Mont Clare, crosses the river into Chester County, where a completed portion of the trail in Phoenixville has already been completed.

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