Updated Oct 5, 2021 - News
Manayunk Canal Towpath to reopen by mid-October
Two dogs run off-leash along the Manayunk Canal Towpath.
Photo courtesy of Alexa Nahas/Manayunk Development Corporation

The storm-damaged Manayunk Canal Towpath will reopen in the coming weeks.

Driving the news: Mayor Jim Kenney's administration is finishing up $300,000-$350,000 in repairs to the 2-mile stretch of the Schuylkill River Trail, Maita Soukup, a spokesperson for the city's Parks & Recreation Department, tells Axios.

Why it matters: The towpath's closure following Hurricane Ida last month has hurt Manayunk businesses that rely on its daily foot traffic, Gwen McCauley, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corporation, said.

  • "It's essential. It is not an amenity," she said.

State of play: The towpath, which runs along the Manayunk Canal behind Main Street, remains dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists, Soukup said.

  • But crews are removing fallen trees and mud — which accumulated more than 1 foot deep in some parts — from the trail. The towpath's surface is also being restored, and barrier fences are being replaced.
  • For now, an on-street detour is available from Main Street in Manayunk, connecting to Shawmont Avenue.

What they're saying: The remnants of Ida caused at least $23 million in damages to Manayunk businesses and depressed foot traffic, McCauley said.

  • Several businesses on Main Street are temporarily closed, including Philadelphia Runner and Manayunk Brewing Company. But it's too early to know how many will shutter for good.
  • The return of the towpath "will be a huge step in getting us back to where we were," but it "won't get us back to normal," McCauley said.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that the trail repairs amount to $300,000-$350,000.

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