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Plan In Place To Make Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway More User-Friendly

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There's been a lot of talk about a new ramp for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the Ben Franklin Bridge and now the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) is spending almost $600,000 to design one.

bfb ramp
John Boyle, research director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (Credit: David Madden)

Currently, anyone using the south side walkway has to climb steps on Camden's end that rise 25 feet, which is difficult for both bicyclists and the disabled. This proposed ramp will change all that.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has lobbied long and hard to get to this point.

"We see all the development going on the Philadelphia side of the waterfront," John Boyle, research director of the bicycle coalition, said. "The Race Street Pier and the trail being built…and Cooper's Ferry Partnership is doing the same thing over here in Camden. I think this is really uniting the two cities."

Boyle believes the design contract is a meaningful commitment from the DRPA.

"From what our understanding is, it'll take about nine months to design the ramp. Then it's up to the DRPA to approve the money and find a contractor for construction," he said.

As for that construction, agency officials suggest there may be considerable outside help to pay for it.

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