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December 31, 2015

In farewell address, Nutter announces Delaware River waterfront study

Nutter talks Delaware River waterfront, Mummers Parade and an improved local economy

With just a few days remaining before Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter hands over the reigns to Jim Kenney, the state of the city was a focal point in his final press conference held Thursday afternoon.

Nutter, who took office in 2008, kept his attention on the coming days and showed no sign of bowing out from his duties early. In addition to addressing plans for the Mummers Parade on Friday, Nutter announced a $10 million study on the potential capping of Interstate 95 along the Delaware River waterfront, NBC 10 reports.

"I think everybody has recognized, in the whole scheme of things, replacement of I-95 and the damage that its done to this city and a number of others is pretty clear," Nutter said.

The study will be jointly funded by the state of Pennsylvania and the federal government through the Transportation Improvement Program, though Nutter added that Philadelphia may chip in through future budget contributions. In effect, the study will examine the prospect of capping I-95 around Penn's Landing. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission will participate in the study.

As he reflected on his two terms in office, Nutter noted that Philadelphia's unemployment rate has dipped to 5.9 percent, the lowest it has been since April 2008 and a full percentage point lower than when he took office. In a press release, which breaks down numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nutter said it's a sign that things are looking up as Kenney steps into his shoes.

“This latest employment data is further evidence that Philadelphia is on the right track and more jobs are being created in our city than any other time in recent memory,” said Mayor Nutter. “As a City, we have much more work to do to expand economic opportunity and alleviate the burden of poverty on our citizens, but the fact that so many Philadelphians are at work is certainly a positive sign of health in our local economy.”