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Funding announced to close last Montgomery County gap in Schuylkill River Trail - Pottstown Mercury

Studies show economic benefits of trails

Since its inception about 40 years ago, the 120-mile Schuylkill River Trail was envisioned as being a piecemeal project — built in sections.

Different sections were built with different partners when the stars aligned (the funding became available) with the idea that eventually, the trail would run along the length of the river from Philadelphia, where it meets the mighty Delaware River, all the way up to the Schuylkill River’s headwaters in Frackville, Schuylkill County.

As each section is completed, the vision becomes a few miles closer to fruition. Funding for closing a crucial gap in the trail was announced in Pottstown on Tuesday in Riverfront Park, home of the headquarters of the Schuylkill River National Area which oversees management and expansion of the entire trail.

Chester County Section Completed

The announcement came on the heels of the Earth Day opening of a four-mile section in Chester County linking Parker Ford and the Route 422 bridge over the river back into Montgomery County, completing all of Chester county’s portion of the trail, which runs from Phoenixville to North Coventry. That final section had a price tag of $6 million.

At .9 miles, this much smaller but crucial section of the trail will be built thanks to a $397,800 grant from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. As Pottstown area users of the trail know, it ends along Industrial Highway, lacking access to the Route 22 bridge between Sanatoga and Kenilworth which, when it was newly constructed a few years ago, included a trail crossing.

This new section will close that gap and complete the Montgomery County portion as well.

“We’re celebrating nine-tenths of a mile but this section is critical,” said Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “Every inch counts.”



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