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Old Reading Railroad Line To Become Walking Trail

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)--It closed decades ago, but now developers plan to turn the old Reading Railroad line into a park.

Now, a rocky patch of land runs through the city of Philadelphia and it needs some serious tender love and care.

"I'm excited. I can't wait to get started," Allen Heggs told Eyewitness News.

Heggs is a local subcontractor who is working on a project called The Rail Park. The first phase will cost $10 million.

The project will cover the old Reading Railroad line, once a jewel in the city.  Heggs owns Helcrist LLC, a steel fabrication company. He's also a proud Philadelphian, who believes this project will be a hit with the general public.

"I'm living a dream right now," he said.

The first phase of the project will run two city blocks but the entire project, as envisioned will run from 31st and Girard to 9th and Fairmount. Heggs says the project will bring people together.

"The plan is to connect ten neighborhoods," he said.

Fundraising is underway for the rest of the project. Heggs is working with general contractor AP Construction.

"AP recently completed the Race Street Pier and Manayunk Pedestrian Trail and this is a similar project where it's going to bring the community together," AP project manager Bob Gillies told Eyewitness News.

Construction begins next week, but Heggs and Gillies expect the first phase to be finished before the end of the year.

For more on The Rail Park, CLICK HERE.

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