Friday, March 19, 2010

Groundbreaking set for Coatesville Riverwalk Project

"The eagerly-anticipated Riverwalk Project in Coatesville will move closer to reality this morning.

A ground-breaking ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Gateway Park at First Avenue and Lincoln Highway. Following remarks by city, county and state officials, participants will cross the street for the requisite earth-moving at the project entrance.

The project - on and off the drawing board since at least 2003 - has been viewed as a step toward revitalization for the struggling former steel mecca. Home to about 11,600 residents, Coatesville has battled multiple obstacles to effecting a turnaround in recent years, including a high poverty rate and a 14-month spate of arsons in 2008 and 2009 that terrorized residents.

Funds for the walking/biking trail that will meander along the banks of the Brandywine Creek were obtained from county and state grants, city officials said. The $1.25 million project will be constructed in three phases, officials said.

Phase One, which has been bid to James R. Kenney Excavating and Paving, Inc. of Collegeville, consists of two parts. The first part will cover the area from Lincoln Highway north to the Valley Township border; the second part, which lies within Valley Township, will continue to Glencrest Avenue.

In the next two phases, officials hope to extend the walkway to Route 340, a goal that will require easements and additional funding, officials said."

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