Bridge Design

Although the connector bridge project is complete, this information is retained for archival purposes.

The Pedestrian Bridge Construction Project began on June 28, 2011 and brings many changes to the dog run. A run down of the project history and some past communication are available on the fsrp website. Some of this information is repeated below.

The Pedestrian Bridge will span from Schuylkill Banks over the railroad tracks into Schuylkill River Park. The bridge is the result of a Federal Court settlement between the City of Philadelphia and CSX Railroad. Construction began on June 28, 2011 and will end in October 2012. The Friends of Schuylkill River Park is helping to facilitate communication between the agencies responsible for the project and the community; we are neither the originators of the idea nor the managers of the Project. The project is managed by the Philadelphia Streets Department, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC), and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Renderings of the bridge post-construction are included below:


Perspective Drawing of Bridge from Schuylkill Banks Side

Perspective Drawing of Bridge from South End of New Dog Run

Perspective Drawing of Bridge over CSX Tracks at Night

A view of the park during construction as well as the pathway of the connector bridge and the size of the permanent dog run post-construction:


The bridge will span approximately 680 feet and is being delivered partly in a pre-fabricated form to the Schuylkill River Park side of the crossing, thus necessitating the removal of several trees in Schuylkill River Park to facilitate the entry and storage of the pre-fabricated section. Thanks in part to advocacy by the Friends of Schuylkill River Park, the number of trees that require removal have been greatly reduced as reflected in the revised planting plan, which preserves 13 of the 27 trees originally slated for removal. The existing dog run will be closed during the project to facilitate bridge construction in the rear of the dog run adjacent to the CSX Tracks, but a temporary dog run has been installed near 25th Street to accommodate dogs during the closing. Thanks in part to advocacy by the Friends of Schuylkill River Park the temporary dog run has been significantly expanded in size since originally conceived. Once the bridge is complete, the Park will be restored and enhanced as part of the project, including new park paving, benches, trash receptacles, new lighting throughout the Park, an irrigation system, new trees and shrubs, and revitalized turf.

There have been 20 instances of community involvement in the design process of the pedestrian bridge, including two heavily publicized and very well attended public meetings. In fact, the path the bridge traverses into the Park was chosen among three options by ballot vote at a public meeting. Constituent groups have been represented in discussion of the construction area and temporary dog run to the extent possible given the constraints of the construction process.

At the completion of construction, the large dog area will be extended 1,000 Square Feet to the south to replace the space taken from the river side by the connector bridge (including an overall 7% expansion of the dog run). Improvements include a planted area surrounding the dog run, a new fence, a seating wall going around the inside periphery, a new surface (K9 Grass) and water fountains in the large and small dog areas.

The contact email for the project is

You may also join our mailing list to keep informed of dog run happenings, including the bridge project.


Brief History
(from the Schuylkill River Park Alliance)

As part of the 2007 legal settlement agreement between the City of Philadelphia and CSX Transportation, the City is required to build a connector bridge between Schuylkill River Park and the Schuylkill River Park Trail south of Locust Street, so that CSX would allow the two at-grade crossings at Locust and Race Street to remain open and made safer with gates and lighting. These crossings are currently under construction.

In July 2007, SRPA and Friends of Schuylkill River Park sponsored an online survey about the connector bridge. 91% of 300 respondents welcomed having a bridge between the two parks and provided lots of comments regarding what features the bridge should have. Three possible alignments for Connector Bridge were presented at a public meetings in November 2008, opinions were taken through an online survey, evaluation forms and comments collected via email. A Design Concept Team worked closely with Schuylkill River Development Corporation on elements of the conceptual design, which included representatives of the Schuylkill River Park Alliance, Friends of Schuylkill River Park, Center City Residents Association, Representative Babette Josephs, Fairmount Park, the Streets Department and University of Pennsylvania. In June 2009, a second public meeting was held to present the chosen alignment and design elements. The chosen alignment was to ramp from the bridge land in the asphalt area next to the dog park.

Since June 2009, SRDC and the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation have been working the final design, securing the funding and working through the permit process with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. Funding for the bridge was obtained from a Federal Department of Transportation grant that the City won in February 2010.