(Washington, D.C.) Linkage of an almost 60 mile-network of bicycle and pedestrian trails between the District of Columbia and Maryland is another step closer to reality today, as Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Governor Martin O’Malley announced the receipt of a $10 million federal grant to construct a missing link in the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
“We are very grateful to our federal partners for the funding and very excited to continue advancing this important trail because of all of the alternative transportation, recreational and environmental benefits it will provide District and Maryland residents and visitors for generations to come,” Mayor Gray said. “We look forward to continued collaboration with all of our partners as we strive to construct and celebrate opening the trail as quickly as possible.”
“Working together with our federal, state and local partners, we are taking a major step forward today toward building a sustainable transportation network that will benefit generations to come,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Once this new trail is complete, it will link 60 miles of trails in Maryland and the District and will provide a great transportation option to connect residents to jobs, schools and recreation. This trail is just one example of how our Cycle Maryland Initiative is reducing our impact on the environment and creating a better quality of life for the entire region.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2012 TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant will fund construction of the four-mile Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Trail segment between Benning Road in the District and Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, Maryland. The new trail segment and larger trail network are creating new options for bicycle commuters while bringing economic and health benefits to adjacent communities.
Within the District, the segment is part of the planned 20 mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will connect 16 waterfront neighborhoods to the Anacostia River, as well as the Southwest Waterfront, the Nationals baseball stadium, the 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. This new trail piece will link to nearly 40 miles of trails in Maryland that travel throughout the Anacostia River Tributary System. This trail project is one of eight top priority missing links identified in Governor O’Malley’s first Statewide Trails Plan – Maryland Trails: A Greener Way To Go. Released in 2010, this plan outlined the goal to connect more than 800 miles of transportation trails into a cohesive trail network.
Trail design is to be complete at the end of Summer 2012 with construction starting by the end of the year. Completing construction by 2014 will involve building five bridges, raised pathways, and multi-use paths.
At a November 2011 Anacostia Great Outdoors Event, Federal, State and District of Columbia partners all committed to work together to get this missing trail segment built. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Interior have been great supporters of this key project. Mayor Gray’s Administration has committed $3.5 million in local transportation funds toward construction and Governor O’Malley has dedicated $1.5 million from the newly created Maryland Bikeways Program that he launched at the November event.
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is one of a series of transportation, environmental, economic, community and recreation projects included in the District of Columbia’s larger Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, or AWI Program. 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. For more information and to follow Riverwalk Trail’s progress, please visit www.anacostiawaterfront.org/AnacostiaRiverwalk. To join the project’s community contact list or ask questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-741-8528.
For more information on TIGER Grants, please visit http://fastlane.dot.gov/2012/06/tiger-2012-highlights-demand.html
Monica Hernandez (DDOT) – 202-671-2261
Erin Henson (MDOT) – 410-865-1028