The span was open, but empty, at the time, and nobody was hurt. The actions of the contractor, Skanska, are under review.
A large section of the bridge’s concrete base and walkway — which traversed Green Line and MARC train tracks in Prince George’s County — crashed onto a construction vehicle below, leaving the bridge’s mangled chain-link safety fencing hanging awkwardly in the air.
Dust and sparks flew as parts of the bridge crashed onto the tracks
Skanska workers had been building a test track for new Metro cars, and an operator lifted the excavator’s arm into the pedestrian walkway, Metro officials said. Skanska project executive John Hellman provided no immediate explanation of the incident and said the investigation is ongoing.
The bridge in the Berwyn Heights area is along a common route to Lake Artemesia Natural Area, a popular recreation spot.
Christy Dollymore walks her dog Lou across the bridge several times a week. It is the quickest way to reach the lake, and the walk itself is an attraction for some. She often sees parents bringing their children there to scope out the trains, Dollymore said.
“I’ve never been afraid up there,” Dollymore said, adding that she will not be scared off from using the bridge again once it is repaired. “It’s just a freak construction accident.”
And an inconvenience.
“We’re sad because we have to go the long way to get to the lake now,”
Train service was pretty quickly restored, but it's unclear how long it will be before the bridge is re-opened. The bridge serves as a connection between the Indian Creek Trail and the College Park Trolley Trail.
Last week it was mentioned that work began on closing the Trolley Trail gap between College Park and Hyattsville and that a bridge over the railroad tracks there could create an additional connection between it and the Anacostia Tributary Trails.
Well, here's the M2 Masterplan that shows what such a connection might look like (if we imagine the bridge too). The bridge will connect the Trolley Trail to Rivertech Court. An existing bike trail connects Rivertech Court to the end of Taylor Road. Turning left on Tuckerman will take cyclists to 51st Avenue where a future trail connection would connect cyclists to the existing spur trail along Haig Drive and from there to the Northeast Branch trail. Once done, some signage and possible some sharrows, would be all one needs. Perhaps equally important is that it connects directly to the Purple Line station along River Road.
Speaking of the Purple Line. Is it going over NE Branch on it's own bridge? I wonder if there's an opportuity to create a trail spur to the east side of the river (and even along it for some distance.
The trail will be complete north of Franklins up through College Park in a year. The section between Armentrout Drive and Franklins is at 30 percent design.
Franklin's is at Farragut Street in Hyattsville, and Armentrout Drive is where the Northwest Branch Trail is (and it's the limit of the trolley right-of-way that isn't Rhode Island Avenue). The northern end of the trail is at Holland Drive in Beltsville, though the northern section is really bike lanes. That's a nice linear trail, with several connections to the Anacostia Trails.
I'd be surprised and impressed if the trail were ever extended to the end of the trolley line along the Patuxent in Laurel. But it would be great to get bike lanes/cycletrack on Rhode Island all the way to the Met Branch Trail.
Cafritz is developing Riverdale Park Station on property that straddles the old DC-Laurel trolley right of way. The land used to be Calvert Homes, built as WWII surge housing by the National Capital Housing Authority to serve workers at the ERCO plant which built light aircraft during the war. Several sections of that right-of-way in College Park and Hyattsville have been turned into trails and, as seen in the rendering above, Cafritz will continue the trail across their property. Cafritz just announced that advance work on that will begin in the next two to six months.
The trail will run north-south, and on the site plan below is along an extended Rhode Island Avenue.
Here's a video (ad really) with more.
Update: The project will also include a new bridge over the railroad tracks. That has not been designed yet, but the designers note that they "will construct an urban table top over the bridge to incorporate architectural features and provide green space for pedestrians accessing the redeveloped site on foot or by bicycle."
South of there, there is a crossing at East West Highway, but that's a little rough. Queensbury Road is good, even if it is at grade. North, you either have to use the College Park Metro underpass (escalators and stairs, etc...) or go to Paint Branch Parkway. Perhaps this could lead to a connection/expansion to the Northeast Branch trail along Wells Run.
The Southern Trailhead picks up where the exclusive trolley right-of-way starts. South of here, the old trolley ran on Rhode Island Avenue. Above is the view looking north. All along the trail it uses this railroad turntable symbol, even though I don't think the trolley used a turntable.
Here's the same spot looking south. If there is a weakness in the trail, it's wayfinding. A sign or map here would let people know that it's not far from here to the NW Branch Trail. And an improved connection to that trail would be a nice addition as well. There are bioswales, like the one on the right, and other rainwater retention facilities all along the trail.
At the EYA development along the trail, there is this little dog run.
A power line runs down the center of the right of way at one point. Rather than move it, the trail splits.
At the northern end of this section is another full turntable. It looks like some work is still going on here. At the far end, between the parking lot and the restaurant it serves, cyclists are told to walk their bikes.
This dirt path is a future section that will connect the College Park section with this new one. Part of this gap will be closed with construction of the Whole Foods in the Cafritz project - scheduled to complete next year, but I'm not sure if it will close the whole gap.
At trail intersections, this smaller turntable symbol is used.
At the north end of the EYA project is this playground and it has a connection directly to the trail. The wall separates the area from the railroad tracks, but those who like to watch trains will find the trail a good place to do so.
At the restaurants near the south end, trail users can find some bike parking, and sharows to guide them through the parking lot.
Jeff Lemieux of Proteus Bicycles sent along these photos of the extension of the PG Trolley Trail. This is the Hyattsville-Riverdale Park section of the trail from Baltimore Avenue/Route 1 to Queensbury Road. Part of this section was completed some time ago as part of the Hyattsville Arts District, but the rest of the work started in October.
First is the section at Baltimore Avenue.
Then along the railroad tracks farther north where it becomes a railtrail that's also a rail-with-trail.
And finally a shot at the northern end, near the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and Oliver Street.
A hearty bon voyage to DDOT's Chris Holben who has been the Project Manager for Capital Bikeshare since the get-go. He and his family are moving on to other opporunities and it is DC's loss. One can only hope that the future will allow him to pursue more acting in low-budget commericial videos. The man has a gift.
About the bombing my wife said "what if it's some anti-tax crazy peeved about income taxes who decided that Boston would be a good place to bomb on the day income taxes are due because of the anti-tax Boston Tea Party." Which is actually a pretty credible theory. Along with any of several other credible theories. Which brings up the question: What's the point of a terrorist attack if no one knows why we're being terrorized?
Bikesharing in Montgomery County has a start date - September 21st. "Phase one, funded through a state transportation grant, calls for 29 docking stations with 200 bikes in Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Medical Center, Takoma Park and Silver Spring....Montgomery County is nearing a finalized contract with the bikesharing vendor, and the county attorney and the transportation department have both signed off on the document, Brecher said. The bikesharing equipment will take four to five months to arrive after the vendor receives the go-ahead....Not all 29 stations will be open by the September launch, but Brecher said DOT hopes to have a "critical mass" of stations readied in order to roll out the system."
The Calvert Track project in Riverdale Park has new plans and a new bridge location which could be good for the trolley trail. "The new bridge alignment would also allow for more tree preservation and an historic alignment of the hiker-biker trolley trail, as suggested by the planning board staff."
PG County Trolley Trail update "A $226 million mixed use development complex in Riverdale Park is moving ahead with the permit application process, despite the status of a key approval condition still up in the air." Since the whole project is being held up by an additional road connection, there is probably something in there one could say about car culture and subsidies.
“If someone is not respectful of cyclists, there’s a penalty,” he said. “That’s it in a nutshell.”
"We need to develop zero tolerance for people who don’t respect cyclists,” Secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday at the first of two national bike safety summits hosted by U.S. DOT this month. “That’s the campaign we’re kicking off today.”
Also “When you build a road, build a bike lane. When you’re fixing up your street, build in a bike lane. Do that, and we’ll be supportive of that at the national level.”
The World Health Organization is increasingly recognizing mass transport and urban design as traffic safety solutions. " Mayor Bloomberg, who spoke at the launch of this year’s report, cited sustainable transport solutions, such as advanced bus systems, increased pedestrian space, and protected bike lanes, as proven examples of “what works”."
One odd thing about living in DC is that I often find out there is a big Supreme Court hearing the next day during my evening run when I notice people camping outside the Court the night before. Either that, or there's a Supreme Night Court where a host of wacky characters distribute justice and laughs. Oh boy, Brent Spiner is on this one!
Shout it from the rooftops: After putting Lawyer's Road on a road diet, crashes dropped by 80%, speeding decreased, travel times remained stable, and public satisfaction with the project is up.. That's not a war on driving.