“The project involved turning this rail line, consisting of rusted steel and overgrown weeds, into beautiful green space with walking paths, lighting and seating that the community could use,” explained Wally Bates, local Tnemec representative. “It was especially gratifying to be part of a project like this where the community rallied to turn a rundown eyesore into a source of pride.”
Located in the Center City District (CCD) of Philadelphia, Phase 1 of the project included restoring much of the existing steel along a quarter-mile section of elevated train line that fell into disuse in 1984. Added amenities were constructed of industrial-scale steel and wood materials in keeping with preferences voiced by community groups during neighborhood gatherings with project designers.
“Ultraviolet (UV) light, weathering and rain were considerations on all of the exposed steel girders and new metal components,” Bates recalled. “The exposed steel was blasted clean by the coatings contractor who applied a high-performance, protective coatings system.”
The specified intermediate coat was Series 73 Endura-Shield, an aliphatic acrylic polyurethane, which is highly resistant to extreme weather conditions. A dark green colored finish coat of Series 1072V Fluoronar, a low-VOC semi-gloss fluoropolymer coating, was specified for its outstanding color and gloss retention.
“Underside portions of the viaduct that were not exposed to UV light were coated with epoxy,” Bates added. “Three overpasses spanning roadways were especially challenging for the coating applicators, but the work went smoothly without any delays.”
The $10.3 million Rail Park features trees, woody shrubs, seating platforms and benches, walkways and eight-foot-wide swings that can seat up to 10 people. The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for maintaining Phase 1 of the Rail Park, which eventually could extend three miles.