Trails and Greenway Plans
URDC is sufficiently experienced as a firm to have watched trails of all kinds and greenways/land preservation trends increase tremendously as America becomes more aware of the importance of both personal health and our natural environment. We have prepared greenway plans for municipalities and counties, including Dauphin County (home of the state capital) and Adams County (home of the historic Gettysburg area), among others. The firm has completed many trail studies, studying feasibility, alignments, property ownership, design, surfaces, maintenance, and other facets of trail development. Along with typical land based URDC has experience in permitting for water based floating dock located in the Borough of Royersford.
ADAMS COUNTY, PA
Adams County, PA is steeped in history—small towns, each with unique offerings; the Lincoln Highway; and many sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including the boyhood home of President Dwight Eisenhower and the site of turning point of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. In addition to history, Adams County includes the Fruit Belt, one of the most fertile fruit growing areas in the country. Adams County is also faced with development pressure from the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area. Against the backdrop of valuable land assets and development pressure, URDC prepared the Adams County Greenways Plan to identify important lands throughout the county and the tools to help preserve the lands.
BOROUGH OF ROYERSFORD RIVERFRONT PARK AND TRAIL
A decade ago, URDC spearheaded effort to revitalize the Borough including the abandoned industrial lands along the Schuylkill River. A Master Plan was prepared for the Royersford Riverfront Park that would stretch the entire length of the Schuylkill River in the Borough creating much needed open space while reconnecting with the river and Schuylkill River Trail (SRT). URDC successfully wrote multiple grants totaling over $1,000,000 (I can get a more accurate figure) to implement the plan in manageable phases. The Royersford Riverfront Park and Trail boasts a ten foot wide paved ADA accessible walking trail with river views, parking, interpretive signs on local flora, fauna and history, sitting and picnicking areas, a public boat launch and easy access to the SRT. The most recent phase completes the southern segment to a trail head in Upper Providence Township were it will one day connect to a future township/regional trail along the Montgomery County side of the Schuylkill River. The final phase (under design right now) will connect Main Street to the SRT via an abandoned trestle bridge and is expected to be completed in 2022.
BOROUGH OF ROYERSFORD - SCHUYLKILL RIVER TRAIL ACCESS
URDC was retained by the Borough of Royersford to acquire all required environmental permits for the installation of a floating dock system. The Royersford Boat Launch is a 725 square foot ADA accessible Boat Launch built above and existing concrete bulkhead/headwall and anchored to the bank of the Schuylkill River. The gangway will lead to a floating pier/dock which will be anchor to the bank allowing the floating pier/dock to rise and fall with water levels (the riverbed was not disturbed during construction). The floating dock provides safe and stable access to the Schuylkill River as a boating access point for kayaks, canoes and sculls. The Boat Launch will provide an additional access point along the Schuylkill River Water Trail and be an additional amenity to the existing Royersford Riverfront Park and Trail. The access point was chosen for its minimal impact to the riverbank. URDC prepared the required DEP GP-2 Small Docks & Boat Launching Ramps permit and required Erosion and Sedimentation Plan.
DARBY CREEK TRAIL
Darby Creek flows into the Delaware River through Delaware County PA, the county bordering the City of Philadelphia to the west. The County retained URDC to develop a master plan for a park along a three-mile section of the creek from Upper Darby Township to Darby Borough. The county owned key parcels along the creek, allowing for a trail through the entire corridor with a minimum of land acquisition. URDC examined land ownership, desired activities and facilities, and various trail development standards.
DELAWARE & LEHIGH NATIONAL HERITAGE TRAIL
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor stretches for 150 miles between the Philadelphia region and Wilkes Barre, PA. URDC assisted in preparing the Management Action Plan for the corridor and wrote a successful grant application for $2.5 million in federal ISTEA funds. Our staff then prepared engineering drawings and bid specification for a 20-mile segment of the Delaware & Lehigh Trail in Lehigh and Carbon counties.
IRONTON RAIL TRAIL
URDC completed the master plan for the Ironton Rail Trail (IRT) which traverses through three municipalities: Coplay, North Whitehall and Whitehall. The IRT is a loop trail system that is now one of the most heavily used trails in the Lehigh Valley. New residential and commercial development has been constructed and home prices increased in proximity to the trail.
JORDAN CREEK GREENWAY
URDC and Wildlands Conservancy prepared a study establishing the feasibility of a greenway in the Jordan Creek near the City of Allentown, PA. The proposed 50.7-mile greenway travels through many different environments, including:
13.0 miles of off-road trail between the Trexler Nature Preserve and the City of Allentown.
A 35.7-mile loop between the Trexler Nature Preserve and Leaser Lake in northwest Lehigh County, using low-volume roads.
A 2.0-mile pedestrian trail connecting Leaser Lake to the Appalachian Trail.
MONOCACY WAY- CITY OF BETHLEHEM
Monocacy Way is a 1 mile stretch of ADA compliant multi-use trail that weaves across open meadow and woods. As you navigate along the trail you can see remnants of the industrial past including old foundations, and the exposed walls of a former quarry site. The trail is accessible from the Memorial Pool parking lot at Illicks Mill Road and terminates at Schoenersville.
Northampton County commissioned URDC to perform several different services in connection with the multi-municipal Nor-Bath Trail. First, we prepared a master plan to identify problems and opportunities along the trail corridor. We then prepared multiple successful grant applications to help fund the trail. Our staff then prepared final design and construction plans for each of the trail’s four construction phases.
In cooperation with the Chester County Planning Commission, East Whiteland Township, Malvern Borough and Tredyffrin Township jointly retained URDC to author the Patriots Path Plan. This development guide showed how to design and build a trail network to link three prominent properties in the region that played special roles in the American Revolutionary War. The resulting trail will be a 6.3-mile segment of the Chester Valley Trail, which will be built on former railroad right of way.
PEDESTRIAN CROSSING OF CEDAR CREST BOULEVARD FEASIBILITY STUDY
The Purpose of this feasibility study is to identify three (3) potential pedestrian crossings of Cedar Crest Boulevard in the vicinity of the Jordan Creek that would serve as part of a future non-motorized greenway and trail system..
The study area for this feasibility investigation is from Albright Avenue at the South to the entrance to the Parkland High School to the north. The center of the study area is at the Iron Bridge Road intersection with Cedar Crest Boulevard and the Jordan Creek.
PILGRIM PARK TRAIL FEASIBILITY STUDY
Pilgrim Park Trail Feasibility Study, Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, PA. URDC completed this study to enhance the quality of life by improving access to recreation in Upper Darby Township, to improve water quality by enhancing the riparian buffer along the Darby Creek, and to continue to build and expand the local and regional trail network. This study outlined a plan to extend the trail along the Darby Creek in the Township. URDC worked closely with Township officials, public and DCNR to complete this project in a timely matter and set goals to eliminate trail gaps and propose connections to destinations both within and outside the Township.
SALISBURY/WICOMICO, MD BIKING AND HIKING FUNCTIONAL MASTER PLAN
URDC was retained by the Salisbury / Wicomico Metropolitan Area to undertake a “Biking & Hiking Functional Master Plan. An entire network for biking and hiking trails was identified for the entire metropolitan area that included a portion of Delaware. All existing hiking and biking paths served as a beginning basis for the master plan. The study analyzed and identified an entire network system of hiking and biking connections for the metropolitan area. The master plan outlined linkages that would connect all residential neighborhoods to the downtown, employment, business and service centers, parks and schools. The master plan outlined guidelines, specifications and graphic examples that would be used for the final design and construction of varying types of hiking and biking trail systems for both on and off-road situations.
STREAM BANK RESTORATION - FREEMANSBURG
The Borough of Freemansburg received Federal Transportation Enhancement Grant funding to repair a 235 foot section of the Freemansburg Canal that lies adjacent to the Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Trail. URDC researched and designed a unique system incorporating geotextile materials to restore the integrity of the canal bank, damaged during spring flooding. The repair involved encapsulating existing soil with filter fabric materials held in place by the weight of the soil and temporary stakes along the waters edge. The area was seeded with native warm weather grasses and extensive root systems to stabilize the repair. URDC obtained the required permitting for the Borough, provided construction documentation and observation throughout the course of the project.
TWO RIVERS AREA
The Two Rivers Area spans Northampton County, PA from Blue Mountain to Bucks County. URDC prepared a greenway plan for this region, which encompasses 17 municipalities and over 100 square miles. The plan points out the complex nature of the study area and proposes a greenway network designed to incorporate natural, historic, cultural, agricultural, and recreational elements. Subsequently, URDC assisted the region in preparing an action plan that the State of Pennsylvania designated as a pilot project for fast-tracking the implementation of greenways.