The city-government-affiliated nonprofit that oversees development along central Philadelphia's Delaware River waterfront has begun soliciting bids from contractors interested in building the southernmost portion of a 3.3.-mile walking and cycling trail planned between Fishtown and South Philadelphia.
The 940-foot-long expanse would run south from Tasker Avenue to the Pier 68 recreational site, largely beside the parking lot for the Walmart-anchored Pier 70 shopping center, according to a request-for-proposal document posted this week to the website of the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. (DRWC).
The document gives contractors a Jan. 22 deadline to enter bids for the portion of the landscaped trail with separate protected lanes for walkers and cyclists.
DRWC president Joe Forkin said a contract was recently awarded to James J. Anderson Construction Co. for the trail's northernmost section, running from Penn Treaty Park, at East Columbia Avenue in Fishtown, south to the SugarHouse Casino.
Plans call for the section between SugarHouse and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia to run inland from the waterfront along Delaware Avenue and Columbus Boulevard. That segment would be built as part of the $225 million waterfront development initiative that includes capping a portion of I-95 with a four-acre park.
The DRWC acquired an easement to build a section along the waterfront between Washington and Reed Street from K4 Associates LLC, which plans a high-rise district encompassing thousands of homes on other parts of the property.
The only section of the planned trail that the DRWC does not yet control runs along the waterfront between Reed and Tasker Street, along the eastern edge of a 18-site where a Foxwoods casino once had been planned.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has pledged $861,500 for the nonprofit to acquire an easement through that property, but negotiations with owner Bart Blatstein, a Philadelphia developer, have been unsuccessful, Forkin said.
Blatstein, who plans a supermarket, a Wawa convenience store with gas pumps, and hundreds of dwelling units on the site, did not respond to a phone message this week seeking comment.
The trail section through the K4- and Blatstein-owned properties would replace a temporary asphalt path.