Using the Manayunk Bridge to connect Lower Merion's Cynwyd Heritage Trail to Philadelphia's Ivy Ridge Trails has been in the works since mid-2011, but a funding gap for the $2.5-million construction portion of the project still remains. The $1.3-million Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative grant given for the reconstruction required for the bridge could foot almost half of the bill.
Though the City of Philadelphia will manage the construction process, Lower Merion is still heavily invested in the project, as it plans to lease all, if not portions, of the Manayunk Bridge from SEPTA. (SEPTA bought the bridge in 1976.) The Board of Commissioners gave the township the go-ahead to prepare a grant application to eventually submit to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. If awarded, the $500,000-grant would require a $500,000 match.
The board hasn't decided how it would match the amount, but if it would add $1 million to the construction portion of the project, leaving the city, township and Manayunk Development Corporation with a much smaller gap of $200,000.