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WEST CHESTER- April 21, 2021– Two projects that will enhance access to the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville will receive $337,5000 in total state funding, state Senator Carolyn Comitta and state Rep. Melissa Shusterman announced today.

The funding, approved today by the Commonwealth Finance Authority, will support two projects:

$250,000 for the Mowere Road Realignment and Reconstruction Project – The Borough of Phoenixville plans to repair and rebuild Mowere Road (locally known as West High Street) from St. Mary’s Street to Northridge Drive. This project will provide a safer alternative primary route in Phoenixville’s northside area and a safer street crossing and pedestrian connection to the Schuylkill River Trail and the borough’s downtown. The realignment of the travel lanes will result in safer road conditions for vehicular traffic allowing for better line-of-sight for oncoming traffic, as well as for trail users at the trail crossing. The improvements also call for addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff on the road through the installation of a new stormwater management system. In addition, plans call for new guide rails, fencing, striping, and trail crossing signs, constructing a new subbase, base course and wearing course, curbs, sidewalks, speed table, and ADA curb ramps to be added.

$87,500 for the French Creek Walking Bridge –The Borough of Phoenixville plans to install a new 213-foot span pedestrian walking bridge over the French Creek to expand and improve access to the existing Schuylkill River Trail. The project will create a more convenient and safer pathway for pedestrians and cyclists to connect to both sides of the Schuylkill River Trail. The walking bridge will be constructed to include ADA-compliant decking, protective fence, and handrails. The fabricated bridge will be delivered in 5 sections and then assembled at the project site.

“One of the reasons why Phoenixville’s revitalization is a national success story is because the borough has done such a great job of incorporating trails and natural spaces into its historic downtown business district,” Comitta said. “These investments will build on that success while providing more safe, convenient, and easily accessible opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and everything Phoenixville and the Schuylkill River Trail has to offer.”

Funding for the projects comes through two state grant programs.

The Mowere Road Project grant comes through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, a program intended to provide financial assistance to municipalities, councils of governments, businesses, economic development organizations, and others to improve transportation assets that enhance communities, pedestrian safety, and transit revitalization. The fund was created by Act 89 of 2013, Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan, which increased transit funding and established dedicated multimodal funding for aviation, passenger rail, rail freight, port, and bicycle-pedestrian projects. The estimated total cost for the Mowere Road project is $1,039,001 with the borough committing $311,701.

“The Multimodal Transportation Fund allows communities to rehabilitate and fortify their existing infrastructure systems. Whether you depend on sidewalks and adequate lighting for safe travel on foot, or you catch the train every morning, reliable methods of transportation are often the key to success in our everyday lives. I am pleased to see this funding awarded to our communities,” Shusterman said.

The French Creek Walking Bridge grant comes through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program (GTRP). It is funded by the Marcellus Legacy Fund, created by Act 13 of 2012, to provide for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks, and beautification projects. The estimated total project cost for the French Creek Walking Bridge is $502,7675 with the borough committing $252,675.

“Many of our constituents count on our parks and green spaces for exercise, leisure, and a safe place to gather with friends and loved ones, especially during this pandemic. It is critical that we uphold the beauty and functionality of these spaces in order to serve our communities. I believe funding from GTRP program will go a long way toward preserving and further developing our beloved outdoor spaces,” Shusterman said.

Comitta said she looks forward to the completion of both projects.

“As we’ve learned during the pandemic, outdoor spaces are key to the health and well-being of our communities,” she added. “Places to exercise, enjoy a walk, or simply take in the natural scenery add to our innate quality of life in Phoenixville and Chester County.”

More information on DCED and state grants can be found online: https://dced.pa.gov/