CSX is rebuilding the railroad tunnel under Virginia Avenue SE, which means tearing up and rebuilding the streetscape. When the project is finished, the street will have a new sidewalk and bikeway next to each other, along with a new connection to a trail that runs along the Anacostia River.
The project will come with a bikeway along Virginia from 2nd to 9th Streets SE, including a small spur where Eye Street is now. There are future plans to connect the bikeway to 11th Street, creating an extension to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. This would be one of two planned "mall connectors," the other being along New Jersey and 2nd SE.
The plans include more than the street and trail. On the north side of H, between 1st and 2nd, WC Smith Developments has proposed creating an "H Street Greenspace" between H Street and the railroad tracks. The trail will cross over the tracks at 2nd and eventually through Garfield Park to 1st Street.
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail status in 2010
The DDOT Public Space Committee is accepting comments on these plans until September 20th and some ANC members are asking for comments too. On October 15, 2015 November 12 at 6:30 p.m., 1100 4th Street, SW, Washington DC, in the Hearing Room on the 2nd Floor, at the conclusion of the review period, DDOT Public Space Committee will hold a special meeting to provide their feedback on the submitted plans, evaluate community recommendations and make a final decision about the scope and nature of the restorations to be implemented. Prior to that DDOT, ANC 6B and ANC 6D are hosting a meeting on this on Monday, Sept. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at 200 I Street, S.E., Washington DC, in the community room.
Virginia Avenue will look like this:
From 2nd to 4th, the trail will be a 10' wide shared use path on the south side of Virginia Avenue along side a wide green area. To reduce stormwater runoff, the trail will be built with porous asphalt pavement and the project will include porous asphalt parking lanes, several bioretention areas and permeable pavers for some sidewalks.
Going east from 4th Street, the path will split into an 8-foot wide bike path and a 6-foot wide sidewalk with 3 feet of separation between them and a wide green space to the south. This is a slight variation on a similar design for C Street, NE.
Part of the block of Eye Street between 4th and Virginia Avenue will be removed; the space will used to increase the size of the existing pocket park and create a 10-foot wide bike path connection to the remaining Eye Street stub.
The 8 foot bike trail/6-foot sidewalk configuration will continue to 9th.
But east of 7th, the green space on the south side of the trail will narrow and the number of driveway crossings will increase.
East of 9th, the plan is for the trail to cross the Virginia Avenue Park along the north side.
The path through the park will be built by "others" and is not a part of the reconstruction.The park will feature a lawn, dog park, benches, catch basins and an interpretive area.
On the east side of 11th, the rail portal will be moved east creating more space. While some of that space will be used to eventually extend 12th Street to M, it would be good to use part of what remains to create a direct trail connection from the end of the Virginia Avenue Park Trail to the existing ART, instead of moving trail users along 11th and M Streets.
There's also space for a playground that would be more shaded, and more inviting, than the one that currently exists on the Hobson Apartments property south of K Street SE between 11th and 12th.