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Chester County Press

Chandler Mill Greenway Project receives groundbreaking

11/01/2023 11:24AM ● By Richard Gaw
Chandler Mill Greenway Project receives groundbreaking [3 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

The Kennett Greenway is about to add another valuable link to its 14-mile-long vision of creating a multi-purpose trail loop throughout Kennett Borough, Kennett Township, New Garden Township and northern Delaware. 

On Oct. 23, representatives from the project held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Chandler Mill Trail, which will be constructed by JVI Group, Inc., a York, Pa.-based construction company, and will include paved pathways, a scenic overlook and streambank remediation.

The project received final approval on Oct. 4, when the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors awarded the construction contract to JVI Group, Inc. at a price of $2,774,385. The company will soon begin work on building two asphalt trails from Hillendale Road to Oriole Road, and from Round Hill Road to a new, accessible overlook on the Chandler Mill Nature Preserve, with views of the historical ruins of the Chandler Mill the parking lot across the road from the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance.

The trail will include comprehensive streambank and roadway stabilization along several sections of the West Branch of the Red Clay Creek, portions of which are adjacent to Chandler Mill Road. 

State Rep. Christina told the audience gathered at the groundbreaking ceremony that she recently spent a weekend hiking with her husband, their son and their new dog.

“It was amazing to see how communities connect to each other through trails, and what it does for a community to have access to outdoor space,” she said. “Right now, we have a significant mental health issue in Pennsylvania and across the country. What we’ve learned is that pet ownership has increased tremendously in the last several years, and outdoor space usage has also increased in the last few years. These two things are connecting us to each other but also to the natural world, and they will ultimately heal us.”

“It’s not just a trail but it’s also creating habitat and putting nature in our lives and also connecting us to that, not only here but all the way up to the Kennett Borough,” said Kennett Township Supervisor Richard Leff at the groundbreaking ceremony. “As we started this project, many people said that it couldn’t get done. We are starting now and the pieces are starting to fall into place, because we have the right people here.”

Paving of the trail will be completed before June 30, 2024, plantings will be installed in the fall of 2024 and the completed trail will be open to the public by the end of 2024. When completed, it will create new walkable and bikeable connections for area residents and its northern-most segment will connect the Falcon’s Lair community to the Parrish Trail, Pennock Park and the Kennett Bike Park, which is also currently under construction. Future phases of Greenway construction will also connect Kennett Township residents into the Borough of Kennett Square.

The township will apply a $1.174 million grant to pay for the development of the trail.

Of the $2.7 million price tag, $1.3 million will be dedicated toward the cost of the repair and stabilization of the streambank at two locations along the western branch of the Red Clay Creek, which will preserve the long-term stability of the trail.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].