Con­nect­ing the dots

Town­ship mak­ing head­way on trail master plan; more than seven miles built or un­der con­struc­tion

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

LIM­ER­ICK >> Con­nect­ing open spa­ces, sports parks and even side­walks, Lim­er­ick has lon­grange plans to get its res­i­dents mov­ing — on an ex­ten­sive trail net­work.

First en­vi­sioned in a 2013 vi­sion plan, the town­ship has been steadily us­ing grant money to build a trail net­work.

It fo­cused first on two things, ac­cord­ing to Town­ship Man­ager Dan Kerr, trails that are cen­trally lo­cated and near­est to the great­est num­ber of res­i­dents; and the town­ship’s prop­erty along the Schuylkill River and the po­ten­tial to link to the Schuylkill River Trail.

Cur­rently, the Schuylkill River Trail is con­tin­u­ous from Philadel­phia to Parker Ford, just over the Lin­field Bridge from three prop­er­ties Lim­er­ick re­cently pur­chased as a link to a larger river­front park.

The pur­chase of the three-acre prop­erty on Lin­field Road, rec­og­niz­able from the his­toric toll house that sits there, will eventu-

ally al­low for pub­lic ac­cess to the 16-acre Schuylkill River Park just up­stream.

Cur­rently a study is be­ing un­der­taken to de­ter­mine the best way to con­nect those prop­er­ties to the 17-acre Lin­field Sports Park along Longview Road, which the town­ship pur­chased in 2010.

The town­ship also owns the two-acre Trin­ley Park

down­stream along the river and hopes that when the for­mer Publicker prop­erty is re-de­vel­oped some­day, that a 1.5 mile trail can be con­structed through to Trin­ley.

But un­til those things are pos­si­ble, the town­ship has been fo­cus­ing on what is pos­si­ble now, said Kerr.

What is pos­si­ble now is thanks to the fore­sight that re­sulted in the Green­ways Master Plan, cre­ated through a $25,000 grant from the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion

and Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

In May, the town­ship com­pleted its first con­nec­tion be­tween 94-acre Lim­er­ick Com­mu­nity Park and the 80-acre Kurylo Farm, 80 acres the town­ship pur­chased in 2008 for $2.8 mil­lion.

Now a pas­sive open space pre­serve, Kurylo was pur­chased with a $1.2 mil­lion grant from the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Nat­u­ral Re­sources and an­other $1.14 mil­lion from the Mont­gomery County Open Space pro­gram.

The $300,000 con­nec­tion was com­pleted with $150,000 in grant money from DCNR and con­tri­bu­tions by a de­vel­oper who al­lowed an ease­ment through a new sub­di­vi­sion and built the por­tion of the trail there as part of the pro­ject ap­proval.

A new side­walk along Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road, past Lim­er­ick Ele­men­tary School and de­signed to con­nect the park with a trail along a PECO power line ease­ment was built with $50,000 from the Pottstown Area Health and Well­ness foun­da­tion.

The con­nec­tor be­tween Ridge Pike and the Com­mu­nity Park has yet to be built, along with a short por­tion along Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road and the ceme­tery ad­ja­cent to the New Apol­stolic Church on ridge Pike.

The first phase of trail be­neath the power lines, about three-quar­ters of a mile from Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road to Lewis Road, is nearly com­plete and was funded with $250,000 from the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment.

Even­tu­ally that trail will be more than two miles, cross­ing Lewis Road, con­nect­ing to a trail in the Ash­brook Es­tates sub­di­vi­sion and reach­ing to Town­ship Line Road at Up­per Prov­i­dence Town­ship, said Kerr.

He said state Sen­a­tor John Raf­ferty, R-44th Dist. and state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., were both key to ob­tain­ing many of these grants.

On the north side of town, de­vel­op­ers are part of the mix as well, with the trails and or side­walk in both the Brad­ford Woods and Fair­crest Farms sub-di­vi­sions that will be joined with a 51-unit pro­ject that was first ap­proved for Toll Broth­ers in 2004.

But when the re­ces­sion it, it sat dor­mant un­til now, when it was taken bu by Sukonic, which will build the trail of more than one mile.

“In five years, we ac­cessed just short of $1.5 mil­lion and there are more than seven miles of trail ei­ther build or un­der con­struc­tion,” Kerr said.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

A por­tion of the trail along the PECO ease­ment, nearly com­plete, will be­come part of a larger trail sys­tem planned for Lim­er­ick Town­ship.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

This spread in Lim­er­ick’s sum­mer town­ship news­let­ter, shows trail con­nec­tions be­tween the Kurylo Pre­serve, Lim­er­ick Com­mu­nity Park, new side­walks on Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road and the trail un­der the PECO power lines, now par­tially con­structed.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

This his­toric toll house, on Lin­field Road ad­ja­cent to the bridge over the Schuylkill River, is part of a three­acre par­cel Lim­er­ick pur­chased for $250,000 and will even­tu­ally be part of a con­nec­tion with other river­front park prop­er­ties.

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