Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
With newly added improvements, the completion of the first phase of construction for King of Prussia’s Linear Park is just a few months away.
The project that will transform a stretch of sidewalks and grass at Moore Park and is far longer than it is wide — a “one-of-a kind recreational amenity for King of Prussia workers,” turning commercial lawns into a close-knit space for walking, running or just hanging out on a nice day — has been steadily moving along for several years now.
The park will ultimately form a 2.6-mile loop that will run the entire length of First Avenue, from Gulph Road to Allendale Road, on both sides of the street.
With most of Moore Park’s employees working from home these days, not many folks have been around to revel in the emerging amenities of the Linear Park, but that’s not a problem, noted Eric Goldstein, executive director of King of Prussia District (KOP-BID), which instigated and organized the project.
“That’s good in the sense that it’s allowing contractors to be able to move faster than they originally thought, so the project is moving along quite well and should be complete sometime in October,” Goldstein said. “We know that in due time employees will come back to the offices and they will have a really beautiful recreational path to use to enhance their work day.”
Among the many upgrades that will cap off phase one are an eating plaza with table and chairs and movable Adirondack chairs dispersed along planting beds on multiple parcels, plus attached metal benches in planting areas on two of the parcels; ADA ramps; planting beds and a rain garden, with new trees and landscape boulders.
In certain locations walls were needed to hold back soil so ramps could meet the requirements of the American Disabilities Act (ADA.)
“We’re trying to make sure that everybody can use that path. The walls were necessary from a design and engineering perspective so we can achieve the correct grading. So, their secondary function is aesthetics but their primary function is ADA compliance,” Goldstein noted.
King of Prussia District has partnered with Upper Merion Township and Montgomery County to install the solar panel bus shelters, which will be installed on new concrete pads with benches, trash cans, and solar-powered lighting.
This project is financed in part by Montgomery County through the Montco 2040 Implementation Grant Program.
“From an environmental perspective, one of the interesting pieces is that we’re creating a number of areas as part of the park that will recharge storm water,” Goldstein explained. “So it will slow down the amount of storm water that ends up on the street. The way that we’re doing that is we’re building rain gardens and also taking large areas of existing grass and making the soil more permeable so water can move through the soil better.”
The second significant part of the environmental responsibility is that everything is powered by solar power, he added.
“So all of the lighting, all of the bus shelters and the synchronized pedestrian crosswalks are all 100 percent solar-powered. On the surface it just looks like a path with lighting and landscaping that you’d see in any park, but there’s a lot going on under the surface that makes the park a lot more environmentally sensitive.”
The overwhelming majority of funding for the Linear Park has been provided by state grants, Goldstein said.
“Our organization paid for all the design fees, so if you put it all together it’s about $2.8 million for this phase,” he noted. “Our organization will maintain all of the park once it’s complete, just like we maintain the landscaping on the medians on the highways and roadways, we will also maintain this Linear Park.”