Thursday dawned gloomy but very warm, and the rain had stopped, so I decided to go for a walk down by the Schuylkill. I took my camera.
First stop was the boardwalk. CHOP closes it occasionally. Apparently something to do with construction of the new building in the background of the picture above. I know. The building is so far away it's hard to see.
Second stop was Race Street on the Schuylkill Banks.
I'd been wanting to get a better feel for this little project, so I nosed around a bit. My understanding was that it involved repairing a bit of the riverbank that fell into the river. (See story in PlanPhilly. See also the Bicycle Coalition's blog.) There is a nice little stretch of new riprap at the bottom of the hill that leads up to the skateboard park and MLK Drive. It's hard to get a good shot from downstream, but the skateboard park is open, and I was able to get a shot of construction equipment, looking back downhill.
I had originally thought the construction was further upstream, because of the equipment and piles of material next to the skateboard park. It appears that this is simply a staging area.
It seems the materials are dropped here and then transported down the trail when they're needed at the bottom of the hill.
It occurred to me that it might have been much simpler to mimic the construction approach used for the boardwalk, and bring your stuff in by barge and tie it up next to the worksite.
This then led me to the thought that closing the trail was completely unnecessary. If they needed to back a piece of equipment up onto the trail occasionally, they could have used a couple of flagmen. I'm sure we all would have been very good and waited patiently.
I've been working very hard lately not to sound too negative, so let me end on a positive note. There's yet more construction down between the Fairmount Water Works and Lloyd Hall.
They have a much prettier sign announcing the closure of the path, and there's even a sign that sort of explains what's going on.
Oh, and the path closure is not a problem for pedestrians or bicyclists. You can run over to the Azalea Garden or the path that runs along Kelly Drive.
One piece of unfinished business up by the Art Museum.
It put me in mind of Marcel Duchamp's readymades.