The rubber tread of both bicycle tires and shoe soles broke in the brand new Sullivan’s Bridge Friday morning during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that celebrated the solution to a cycling dilemma that spanned two and a half decades.
“The cyclist community has been waiting for the completion of Sullivan’s Bridge for some time now, and we are very pleased with the results,” Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart said in a recent blog post. “Sullivan’s Bridge is a permanent, safe connection and another big step forward for the Circuit Trails.”
The new 602-foot recreational trail bridge is the much-anticipated missing link between the Schuylkill River Trail and Valley Forge National Historical Park since the closure of the 1800s-era, one-lane Betzwood Bridge in 1991.
Between then and now, the only alternates have been less than desirable.
“Narrow and unsettling as it was, the ‘boardwalk’ perched on the edge of the (Route) 422 high bridge was a practical solution to what seemed, at the time, to be an insoluble problem,” Mike Szilagyi said in the article.
“The boardwalk turned out to be a vital link that served countless thousands of cyclists for more years than any of us could have anticipated.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation hosted the grand opening for its $9.2 million feat named after Maj. John Sullivan, the 1777 officer who first built a bridge over the Schuylkill River for George Washington.
Read more about the history leading up to Sullivan’s Bridge on the Bicycle Coalition website by clicking here or watching the CBS3 news clip below.