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Montco Will Match Funds for Manayunk Bridge Project

County and Lower Merion Township agree to chip in to link Schuylkill River trails.

Following the Schuylkill Project's director crediting partners for collaboration in recent river projects, two Montgomery County agencies reinforced the Schuylkill synergy.

The Montgomery County Commissioners voted 3-0 Thursday to match grant funds in the trail project that refurbishes the Manayunk Bridge over the Schuylkill River, linking the and .

"The progress speaks to the fact that this community is excited and supportive," project director Kay Sykora said Wednesday night to the Manayunk Neighborhood Council. "In the last five years, there have been a number of entities working hard to make sure these trails are linked."

The commissioners vote cements  and Lower Merion Township committed to.

The entities will apply for a $1 million Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission grant, which provides federal money for the competitive congestion mitigation air quality program. If the project receives the grant, the area would have to match the $1 million.

Philadelphia previously committed money, and on Wednesday, Lower Merion Commissioners agreed to pay $250,000, as well. That left the county ready to vote.

"We were reluctant to take any action that might have put us in the middle of a disagreement in Lower Merion," Commissioner Bruce Castor said.

"This is a great project," Commissioner Leslie Richards said.

If money is awarded, the county will transfer its payment to Lower Merion.

SEPTA owns the iconic arch bridge, and Philadelphia is currently working on an official lease agreement, which Sykora said Philadelphia City Council will soon take up. The total project cost is estimated at $2.8 million.

People should be able to access the bridge from the Cynwyd Train Station in Lower Merion, and DuPont Street in Manayunk.

Specific details on the project are still in the works, Sykora said. Lighting won't be included in the initial project, so the bridge will be closed off at night.

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