Construction has started on the much-anticipated Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, the missing link in an almost 70-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian trails between the District of Columbia and Maryland, bringing economic, health and other benefits to nearby communities.
By connecting Benning Road in the District with Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, Maryland, the four-mile 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 generally parallels the Anacostia River but passes through both developed and undeveloped areas. As a result, the trail’s unique and varied design includes paved 10- to 12-foot wide asphalt and concrete boardwalk sections that meander around trees and wetlands in the Aquatic Gardens and other National Park Service 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.
In all, the design is sensitive to the Park Service’s stewardship and environmental goals while also maintaining consistency and identity associated with the overall regional trail network.
Within the District, the segment is part of the planned 28-mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will connect 16 waterfront neighborhoods to the Anacostia River, Southwest Waterfront, Nationals Park, Washington Navy Yard, RFK Stadium, National Arboretum, and other popular destinations.
To date, more than 15 miles of the District’s trail are open and heavily used. This new portion of the trail will link to more than 40 miles of trails in Maryland that travel throughout the Anacostia River Tributary System and connect to numerous schools, businesses, libraries, museums, shopping centers and Metro and MARC transit stations.
The segment’s $22.1 million construction costs are being funded through a $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER Grant, combined with $3.9 million from the District of Columbia, $4.7 million of the District’s Highway Trust Fund from the Federal Highway Administration and $3.5 million from Maryland’s Cycle Maryland Bikeways Program. The trail will be maintained and operated by the District, National Park Service and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Other trail partners include the U.S. Department of the Interior, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service and Prince George’s County (Maryland).
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 Anacostia Riverwalk 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 great outdoors and revitalize urban waterways in under-served communities across the country.
|Advertised for Construction||Fall 2013|
|Began Construction||Spring 2014|
|Complete Construction and Open||Fall 2016|