Schuylkill River Trail Section in Berks Closed for Construction

Whittaker Bridge Construction is Underway

Photo Credit: Kevin D. Keifrider

UNION TWP – The Schuylkill River Trail near Monocacy Station in Berks County will close beginning Monday, Feb. 1, for the construction of the Richard P. Whittaker, M.D. Memorial Bridge. The trail will be closed between the trail access across from the Fork & Ale restaurant and approximately 600 feet east of the bridge construction site. FOR A MAP OF THE CLOSURE AREA, CLICK HERE

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The contractor for the pedestrian bridge is Susquehanna Supply Co. Construction is expected to last until August. This section will be closed throughout the project to allow construction vehicles to transport materials. The traffic of such vehicles will disrupt the trail surface, making it unsafe for users during this time. The contractor will resurface the trail after the project is complete.

There is no detour during this construction project. Trail users are encouraged to visit the interactive map at schuylkillriver.org/map to plan their trip on the trail and explore other trail sections. The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area will update the public if the trail closure area changes at any time.

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BIG WOODS TRAIL ACCESS 

For the time being, trail users will be unable to enter or exit the Big Woods Trail via the Schuylkill River Trail. The Big Woods Trail is accessible through the parking lot area on Center Road. The lot can hold approximately 25 to 30 cars. The address is 165 Center Road, Douglassville, PA 19518.

MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE WHITTAKER BRIDGE

The construction project is totaled to be about $1.15 million. Peggy Whittaker donated a generous amount to help fund the project in honor of her late husband, Dr. Richard P. Whittaker, for whom the bridge will be named. Funding will provide for ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

The bridge location, often referred to as the Monocacy Crossing, is along the Thun Section of the Schuylkill River Trail. It’s a high-traffic area along Route 724. Cars travel at a high rate of speed in this area with poor sight distances. Currently, trail users must descend a steep slope to cross Route 724 and ascend another slope on the opposite road bank. Schuylkill River Greenways installed visible warning signs at the intersection in 2016. Those signs were paid for through the Safe Crossings Program which the Sly Fox Brewery donates funds toward from the proceeds of SRT Ale.

More than 75 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail is currently open to the public throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. The multi-use path will extend 120 miles when completed from Frackville in Schuylkill County, through Montgomery, Chester, and Berks Counties to Philadelphia. To learn more about the Schuylkill River Trail and current projects, visit schuylkillrivertrail.com.

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ABOUT SCHUYLKILL RIVER GREENWAYS

The mission of the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area is to connect residents, visitors and communities to the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail is owned and managed by several partners. Schuylkill River Greenways manages and constructs the trail in Berks and Schuylkill Counties. Learn more at schuylkillriver.org.