Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) received $1M in RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) funding for the FDR Park Wetland Mitigation Project. RACP is a Pennsylvania grant program for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
In line with the FDR Park Plan, the Wetland Mitigation project is intended to increase climate resilience in the region and compensate for wetland impacts associated with the airport’s West Cargo development plans. The 33-acre wetlands mitigation site is located within FDR Park in South Philadelphia, about 3.5 miles west of PHL, and is mostly inaccessible due to decades of fill placement, overgrowth of vegetation, and Phragmites. The project will result in high-quality tidal wetlands connected to tidal water via an existing culvert piping network to the Naval Reserve Basin.
Additional scope includes:
- A new soil hill – planted with native grasses - to accommodate the excavation of soil from the wetlands development
- Provision of future 15-25-foot-wide unimproved trails
- Provision for a future 30-foot-wide park road corridor
- Maintenance of security and access for the successful establishment of the Wetlands.
- Removal of a non-performing tide gate at the reserve basin and replace it with two tide gates at FDR Park: one for the wetland’s development and another for the rest of the park's drainage. This will enable better access for maintenance and promote more efficient drainage on-site.
A contract was recently awarded by PIDC for the Construction Management/Inspection of the project. With PIDC’s release of the public works opportunity last week, PHL has initiated preparing the site for construction, by installing a silt fencing around the perimeter of the wetlands site to reduce soil runoff and prevent threatened or endangered species (turtles) from entering the area during construction. Construction is scheduled to start after the Philadelphia Flower Show in July of 2022.
The FDR Park planning team is sharing updates and answering FAQs at bit.ly/fdrparkplan.