The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is five years old this month!
What started as a feasibility study in 2008 finally culminated into the grand opening of the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk in October, 2014. The City celebrated the opening with three days of events, including a 5K run/walk, ribbon cutting, and party. This now-iconic trail extension project adds 2,030 feet to the Schuylkill Banks trail, a ramp connection to the north side of the South Street Bridge, and inspiration for future trail building projects.
URS, Pennoni Associates, and CH Planning designed and engineered the Boardwalk, which has won many awards including: Outstanding Context Sensitive Solution Bridge Design by the Association for Bridge Construction and Design – Susquehanna Chapter, Outstanding New Medium Span Bridge Award by the Association for Bridge Construction and Design – Susquehanna Chapter, Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award by the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, Best Projects Award of Merit by the Engineering News Record – Mid-Atlantic Chapter, National Recognition Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies, and the Project of the Year Award by the Mid-Atlantic Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
The Boardwalk’s lighting is solar-powered, the first installation of this type of lighting on Schuylkill Banks. The surface is concrete, but has the appearance of planks, hence the name of the structure. The design team included four overlooks throughout the span of the structure with benches and pergolas, so trail users would have a place to rest and relax off of the trail. And, the height of the Boardwalk is just above the waterline, making you feel as if you are walking on the river (especially at high tide). Learn more about this trail project here. And check out these before and after photos of the riverbank without and with the Boardwalk!