This is another step. They're going to break ground on this thing just as I no longer need it.
The missing link in an almost 60-mile regional bicycle and pedestrian trail network is advancing to construction, as Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Deputy Secretary John D. Porcari and National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced today the advertisement of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Segment for bids by contractors.
Project bid documents are available here. Project construction is expected to start in fall 2013.
“Today, along with our partners from the federal government and the State of Maryland, we mark a milestone in the completion of a trail that will provide a broad array of benefits to our residents as well as visitors and our entire region,” said Mayor Gray.“Advertising to find partners to build this missing link in the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail means that soon, thousands will be able to enjoy the multi-modal transportation, community connectivity and recreational opportunities the trail will afford as part of our larger Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and in keeping with our Sustainable DC plan’s goals to make the District the nation’s healthiest, greenest, most sustainable city.”
This $19.3 million trail project is being jointly funded by: a $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation 2012 TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant, $3.9 million from the District of Columbia, $3.6 million of the District’s Highway Trust Fund from the Federal Highway Administration and $1.8 million from Maryland’s Cycle Maryland Bikeways Program.
“Today, we take an important step forward in delivering a project that will significantly enhance the entire region’s network of trails,” said Gov. O’Malley. “With connections to businesses, transit, parks, schools and homes, this link will further our efforts to encourage increased use of bicycling and walking as viable transportation options. Over the next six years, Maryland will invest more than $150 million to increase bicycle and pedestrian access – helping to stimulate the economy, protect the environment and improve physical fitness.”
We are thrilled to see the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail – which will act as a key connection between trails in the District of Columbia and Maryland – move towards construction,” said USDOT Deputy Secretary Porcari. “Through this TIGER grant, the trail will improve safety by giving bicyclists and pedestrians a dedicated new alternate travel route while further providing residents and visitors with sustainable transportation options.”
“The National Park Service is excited to see the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail move toward construction,” said NPS Director Jarvis. ”The National Park Service is committed to connecting urban communities to parks, trails, waterways, and community green spaces that provide access to fun outdoor experiences close to home.”
By connecting Benning Road in the District with Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, Md., the trail segment creates new connections between communities, the river and its natural resources while enhancing recreational and educational opportunities for trail users. At the same time, the trail increases accessibility to transit stations and makes bicycle commuting more attractive by shortening travel times by as much as 30 minutes.
The trail is designed to generally parallel the Anacostia River, but also pass through both developed and undeveloped areas. As a result, the trail’s unique and varied design includes both paved 10-to-12-foot-wide asphalt and concrete boardwalk sections that meander around trees and wetlands in the Aquatic Gardens and other NPS lands; sidewalks through the Mayfair and Parkside communities; and raised walkways and five bridges over Anacostia River tributaries as it passes between the District and Maryland near U.S. Route 50.
Within the District, this segment is part of the planned 20-mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will connect 16 waterfront neighborhoods to the Anacostia River, Southwest Waterfront, Nationals Park, Washington Navy Yard, RFK Stadium, the National Arboretum, and other popular destinations. To date, more than 12 miles of the District’s trail are open and heavily used. In Maryland, the trail will link to more than 40 miles of trails that travel throughout the AnacostiaRiver tributary system and connect to numerous schools, businesses, libraries, museums, shopping centers and Metro and MARC transit stations.
Home to more than 800,000 residents, 43 species of fish and more than 200 species of birds, the restoration of the Anacostia River Watershed and the development of the AnacostiaRiverwalk Trail has twice been identified as a priority project for the Obama administration under the President’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP). Both initiatives seek to reconnect Americans to the outdoors and revitalize urban waterways in underserved communities across the country.
The trail will be maintained and operated by the District, NPS and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Other trail partners include the U.S. Department of the Interior, Federal Highway Administration, and Prince George’s County (Maryland).
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is one of a series of transportation, environmental, economic, community and recreation projects included in the District’s larger Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI). From the Tidal Basin to the city’s northeast border with Maryland, the 30-year, $10 billion AWI is transforming the shores of the Anacostia River into a world-class waterfront. To learn more about the programs involved with the trail segment, please visit the program websites at: www.anacostiawaterfront.org/AnacostiaRiverwalk; www.cycle.maryland.gov; andhttp://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Federal-Agencies-Partner-to-Revitalize-Urban-Waterways-In-Communities-Across-the-US.cfm.
The plans have a few technical drawings that show the route of the trail. It will pass undert the Amtrak and New York Avenue Bridges on a boardwalk and there will be a small observation area just north of the New York Avenue Bridge. Here's a map of the whole trail.