By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A groundbreaking ceremony was held today in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood as federal, state, and local officials gathered to announce a 1.5-mile trail in an industrialized area along the Delaware River waterfront.
Pulaski Park is just off the Allegheny Avenue exit of I-95, at Allegheny and Delaware Avenues. There is already an existing trail and parkland there.
This L-shaped extension will start at Monkevitch Playground, in the shadow of I-95, and go down past Pulaski Park to Lewis Street, wrapping around the fruit distribution center and city dump.
But deputy mayor Mike DiBerardinis (at lectern in photo) says it offers residents a rich opportunity.
"Re-establishing the connectors is so important to enlivening community life, presenting recreational opportunities for people, places for families to be and to go and enjoy this wonderful river that most Philadelphians don't have access to or don't know how to get access to," he said today.
Pennsylvania state senator Mike Stack (D-Phila.) says it will link neighborhoods.
"We talk about Port Richmond being blocked from Bridesburg, Bridesburg being blocked from Northeast Philadelphia, Tacony and other areas. Now we're all going to be together," he said, "and all the way down to center city is the game plan. People should be able to walk, jog, bike, inline skate -- all those things -- and we are very excited about it."
This is part of a federal effort to create greenspace, with the goal being a series of trails stretching from Maine to Florida.
Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), also present today, was credited with procuring the necessary funds to make this project possible through a so-called "Tiger" grant, a Department of Transportation program that originated with the 2009 "Recovery Act."
For more information on the project, which is expected to be completed in a year, go to drcc-phila.org.
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