Ten miles of new bike and pedestrian trails will soon help connect the Delaware Valley.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has announced a $4 million grant for the Circuit Coalition, a project that aims to connect and improve access to the region's trails.

 

The grant will fund projects such as replacing the stairway on the Ben Franklin Bridge with a ramp, adding a multi-use trail to the Manayunk Bridge, and linking the Cobbs Creek Trail with the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.

Speaking in Camden, Barry Seymour, executive director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, said the trail is part of the Connections 2040 plan, the organization's long-range plan for sustainable development in the area.

"Connections identifies four primary goals -- building livable communities; building the economy; protecting the environment and managing growth; and establishing a modern and safe multi-mobile transportation system," Seymour said. "Investing in trails is an important way to accomplish all four of those goals."

The project will help boost investment in Camden, said Dr. Edward Williams, the city's planning director.

The trails "are going to provide access to job for folks in Camden to other parts of the region and it invites a very appealing appearance in terms of improving our economic development here in the city," he said

The goal of the Circuit Coalition is to complete and connect 750 miles of trails between six counties. So far, 282 miles have been completed, with 40 miles in development.

The grant was made possible by the William Penn Foundation.