There has been a ton of activity along the Delaware River recently. Developers, such as Eric Blumenfeld and Bart Blatstein have laid their claim to large tracks of land, AAA is still looking to make waterfront auto-repair a thing and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation continues to make headway on two southern pier projects — Pier 53 and Pier 68.
We’re now learning Pier 68 may have to wait a little longer than first thought as the river end of the pier is highly damaged from a prior boat collision — potentially putting an hefty dent in to the $1 million budget for the entire pier park.
An estimate for the work wasn’t announced but DRWC Vice President Joe Forkin mentioned that the cost was “not a million, but lots,” according to PlanPhilly.
The rub is figuring out how much it would cost to remove that section from the otherwise safe pier, and how much money would be left in the $1 million pot set aside for the pier project, DRWC Vice President Joe Forkin and Planner/Project Manager Lizzie Woods explained Thursday.
Aside from the money aspect, the dilapidated river’s edge of the pier creates a two-pronged problem. One, it disrupts the main purpose of Pier 68 being a public fishing pier — fishing. The sunken concrete creates an obstacle on the pier’s prime fishing spot and, if simply fenced off and left, could be dangerous for brash fishermen who hop the fence looking for a sweet spot. And two, officials fear a fenced off pier’s end would make the park less “aesthetically pleasing” while cost of removal could make the space “generic” by eating in to the budget for the rest of the space.
Hence the consideration for delaying the project in order to better assess the overall budget with removal costs factored in and possibly raise more funds.
If you’ve been following the developments at Pier 68, you’ll know that there has been heavy consideration for public input in to the usage of the future pier park. The initial meeting was dynamic, informative and engaging for those in attendance who not only wanted to learn more about the park but also wanted to contribute to the planning process.
The second in a series of public neighborhood meetings is scheduled to take place sometime in April.
– James Jennings is the founder of the blog Pennsporter — a site dedicated to exploring the neighborhood from Washington to Snyder, the Delaware to Fourth.