A new fishing pier will be built by next summer on Pier 68 at the end of Tasker Street, one of several improvements announced yesterday by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
The pier’s $750,000 redevelopment is part of another round of upgrades to increase access to the riverfront, which will be funded by a $5 million grant from the William Penn Foundation, says Plan Philly. That grant will also pay for the expansion of the park at Washington Avenue Green, including adding wetlands, a boardwalk and the glowing 55-foot tower at the end of Pier 53.
Regarding Pier 68, according to Plan Philly:
While the future park will be “very heavily focused on fishing,” other “direct recreational activities,” such as launching kayaks, may also become part of the plan, said DRWC Vice President for Operations and Development Joe Forkin.
The RFP calls for places to temporarily dock small boats, fish-cleaning stations, the creation of wetlands. It also asks for the creation of on-line or mobile methods for people to interact with the park, “for example by using mobile applications or other social media outlets to record and document information they observe, such as tidal intervals, fish species, or other wildlife.”
A contract to build the pier will hopefully be awarded by December, with the park opening by the second week of August, when Philadelphia will host a Bassmaster Fishing Tournament.
Up at Pier 53, the grant will pay for the simultaneous construction of the boardwalk that is proposed for the extension of the Washington Avenue Green. That project should also be finished by next summer.
One change from Pier 53’s previous iteration is that people will no longer be allowed to climb to the top of the “Land Buoy,” the art installation at the end. Planners cited liability concerns with that one, but they said the beacon would still be built.
But that’s not all. The grant will also pay for improvements to the trail along the river between the two new parks, upgrades to the bike paths along Columbus Boulevard between Washington Avenue and Spring Garden Street, development of “connector street amenities” on Tasker Street, docks for four water taxis and a number of other improvements and feasibility studies to several other sections of the waterfront.
This is all a long way of saying that the Delaware will soon no longer be the redheaded stepchild of city riverfronts, which hopefully will lead to commercial and residential development on some of those long-neglected stretches.
As in, the 16-acre parcel of land between Reed and Tasker streets where Foxwoods was going to go?