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11th Street Bridge Park Aims For 2019 Opening

by UrbanTurf Staff

It’s hard to believe, but it has been almost a year since the final design was unveiled for DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park. UrbanTurf has now learned that the team behind the park has targeted mid-2019 for when it will be open to the public.

For years, Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC had been working to turn three concrete piers into one elevated park connecting Anacostia and Navy Yard (map). Last October marked the first milestone of that work when the design from the team of OLIN, OMA and Arup was chosen from over 40 teams competing to design the planned park.

The winning design consists of two ramps, projecting from each shore, that intersect and elevate to create “a series of outdoor programmed spaces and active zones that will provide an engaging place hovering above, yet anchored in, the Anacostia River.” Among those programmed spaces are an amphitheater, an environmental education center, a sculpture garden and a boat launch. The park will be the size of about three football fields lined up end to end.

Given that a year has almost passed since the announcement, UrbanTurf wanted to get an update on where things stand with the project. Scott Kratz, the director of the park, told UrbanTurf that pre-construction, including the beginning of the environmental assessment and due diligence for load testing on the old piers, will begin this fall and is expected to take two years.

“Construction will then take a year and a half, so we are targeting a mid-2019 opening date,” Kratz said. The original estimated completion date was mid-to-late 2018.

Kratz said that about $11 million has been raised for the construction of the park, approximately 25 percent of the $45 million that will be needed to complete the job. DC has confirmed $8.35 million over the next few years, and the rest will come from foundations, individuals and corporations. Kratz is confident that the remaining funds will be raised to complete the project.

“Nobody writes an 8-figure check out of the blue. To solicit the larger gifts, you need a design. Having that design has been extraordinarily helpful in garnering funding interest.”

An Equitable Development Task Force has also been formed to create a series of programs and policies to encourage equitable development in the neighborhoods surrounding the park. The recommendations from the task force, posted later this week, include:

  • Creating an agreement with local hiring goals and requirements to maximize construction job opportunities on the park for surrounding residents.
  • Establishing a kiosk-based food service with existing and new small businesses from the surrounding area.
  • Improving walkability between park and nearby commercial corridors with streetscape improvements and installation of public art under freeway overpasses.

The recommendations will be up for two weeks for public comment, and there will be a meeting on October 3 when the public can weigh in.

More renderings of the park below.

11th Street Bridge Park

See other articles related to: oma, olin studios, anacostia, 11th street bridge park

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/11th_street_bridge_park_aims_for_2019_opening/10337

7 Comments

  1. Brett said at 11:04 am on Wednesday September 16, 2015:

    The fact that DC Council (namely tax-and-spend Mary Cheh) wanted to partially fund this when we actually need real bridges to be repaired is the height of stupidity. Why, in a city that’s 22% covered by parkland do we need a bridge park next to the city’s 2nd biggest park?

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes said at 11:52 am on Wednesday September 16, 2015:

    Sell off part of Anacostia Park for development. It’s woefully underused and the proceeds can fund the 11th Street Park.

  1. Robert said at 1:41 pm on Wednesday September 16, 2015:

    Brett you are completely short sided.  As a DC resident I am ecstatic we will finally get a decent park in the city that isn’t just the national mall that is not programmed as a city park (playgrounds, spray parks, etc).  The quality of DC Parks maintenance and new builds is far lacking other major cities in this country. 

    My frustration is with the DC Council that can fund multiple stadiums for rich team owners and suburban fans, but cannot properly fund maintenance for its existing city parks and put up even half as much funding for the bridge park that it did for even the Wizards PRACTICE facility.

  1. Brett said at 8:23 pm on Wednesday September 16, 2015:

    Robert, I don’t know what “short sided” means or what park maintenance citywide has to do with the need to build another park next to the 2nd biggest park in the city. We have multiple real bridges in this city that are in desperate need of repair.

    As to your other point, the Wizards practice facility will bring much needed jobs to a section of the city that has a double digit unemployment rate. This silly bridge park won’t.

  1. observer said at 7:26 am on Thursday September 17, 2015:

    Brett, stop hating. Start loving and be happy.

  1. JJ said at 10:22 am on Thursday September 17, 2015:

    Brett, not agreeing or disagreeing that this park is a good use of funds in and of itself, but the idea that a practice facility will bring in jobs is, at best, highly unlikely. Stadiums rarely provide economic revitalization to their surrounding areas. Seems impossible for a practice stadium to do that which arenas cannot.  Just look at the recent Jon Oliver piece on this exact subject.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcwJt4bcnXs

  1. Nathaniel Martin said at 1:45 pm on Thursday September 17, 2015:

    First, stop nit-picking: I am pretty sure that “short-sided” was a typo for “short-sighted,” don’t you think?

    I love the idea of this bridge, and I do think it is an appropriate use of public funds. Of course, there are no guarantees about how it will be received, but I strongly suspect that this will serve as a catalyst for the redevelopment of both sides of the river, but particularly the Anacostia side. While DC has plenty of parks, not many of them are truly “programmed”—that is, offering planned activities and interactions, and I think the city badly needs such spaces (the Mall offers this, of course, but due to its scale and location, it has never quite engaged the local community as well as it could). In short, I think the bridge park is going to be a real boon to our city.

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