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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, or AWI?

The Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) is 30-year, $10 billion program transforming the shores of the Anacostia River into a world-class waterfront. Led by the District of Columbia government and embraced by 19 regional and federal agency partners, the bold initiative is restoring the health of the Anacostia River and revitalizing neighboring areas.


Where is the Anacostia Waterfront?

The Anacostia Waterfront area straddles the Anacostia River and weaves through District Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8, stretching from the Tidal Basin to the District’s northeast border with Maryland.


What are the Key Elements of the AWI?

The AWI is focused on five mutually-reinforcing goals:

  1. Restore the Environment – A Clean and Active River: Charting the course for environmental healing and rejuvenation involves eliminating pollution, controlling run-off, restoring streams and wetlands and promoting water-based activities
  2. Connect with Transportation – Breaking Down Barriers and Gaining Access: Rethinking the design of transportation infrastructure to gain multi-modal access to waterfront lands and to better serve neighborhoods
  3. Play in Parks – A Great Riverfront Park System: The District’s series of isolated parks should become a system of interconnected and continuous waterfront spaces that attract residents and visitors to gather and play.
  4. Celebrate Destinations – Cultural destinations of Distinct Character: Bring life and celebration to the waterfront while enhancing and projecting the distinct character of communities along the waterfront.
  5. Live in Neighborhoods – Building Strong Waterfront Neighborhoods: Promote sustainable economic development and reconnect the city to the river and the waterfront park system.

What are Key Transportation Goals of AWI?

The primary goals of AWI’s transportation agenda include:

  • Providing continuous pedestrian and bicycle access along the entire waterfront
  • Promoting the use of alternative transportation choices and public transit
  • Beautifying streetscapes by integrating mixed-use development landscaping and civic spaces
  • Creating distinctive brides that serve as gateways across the Anacostia River
  • Redesigning highways and freeways to reduce transportation barriers between neighborhoods and the water
  • Reconnecting the city street grid to waterfront parks

What Has DDOT Accomplished Since AWI was Launched In 2000?

Among other progress, DDOT’s most significant advances include:

11th Street Bridge Project – As of spring 2012, two new freeway bridges were open to traffic, with a third local bridge slated for opening in mid 2012. Ramps connecting the freeway bridges to and from the north on DC 295 will in Fall 2012. Construction of the $390 million project, the largest in DDOT history, began in December 2009.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail – To date , 12 of the planned 20 miles of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail were in use by recreational and commuter cyclists. In Spring 2012, two new sections of trail opened: a new trail bridge over railroad tracks north of the John Philips Sousa Bridge west of the river and an improved connection from the Tidal Basin to the Fish Market.

Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge/South Capitol Street Improvements – Laying the groundwork for construction, a Final Environmental Impact Statement was signed in March 2011 and preliminary engineering began in January 2012. In 2007, DDOT took initial steps to improve the corridor by lowering the west end of the Douglass Bridge and removing the elevated structure of South Capitol Street. The work reconnected neighborhoods on both sides of the road and providing much-improved pedestrian and other access to Nationals Park and other attractions.


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