Engineering work to begin soon for 8-acre park atop I-95
The search is on for engineers and designers to figure out how to redevelop Penn’s Landing and connect it to the city – largely with an eight-acre park that would fully cover I-95 and Columbus Boulevard between Walnut and Chestnut streets, as well as slope down to the water.
A preliminary rendering of Penn’s Landing Park extracted from the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, shows a sloping lawn, roughly the size of Rittenhouse Square, through which people could walk from Front Street down to the water’s edge, or where they could linger to watch fireworks or concerts. The park would sit on a structure that expands the existing partial cap of I-95, which covers the highway from Front to Columbus, and from Chestnut Street just about half way to Walnut Street.
The study and design work will also examine:
- A large, mixed-use development in what is now a Market Street parking lot. Additional space would be created by removing the Market Street scissor ramp structure.
- The extension of the South Street pedestrian bridge, which now ends on the west side of Columbus Blvd., to the southwest corner of the great water basin.
- Mixed-use development, including residences and restaurant barges, in and around the basin.
This work around Penn’s Landing, Chestnut, Walnut and Market streets “is kind of the big move that is going to really connect the riverfront back to Old City,” said Karen Thompson, project manager of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. DRWC is the quasi-city agency that oversaw the creation of the master plan, controls Penn’s Landing, and is looking for the engineers and designers to do this work.