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