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A Look at the Plans For a Bridge Between the Arboretum and Anacostia Waterfront

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of the Arboretum Bridge from the Kenilworth Park side. Click to enlarge.

A key site along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is inching closer to construction.

Last night, the District Department of Transportation's (DDOT) Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and the National Park Service hosted the first of two public meetings to present plans for a pedestrian and cycling bridge connecting Kenilworth Park and the National Arboretum.

Site map of features along the proposed bridge location. Click to enlarge.

The ADA-accessible bridge would be roughly 14 feet wide and would be able to accommodate two lanes of traffic in either direction. The proposal also includes improvements along the riverfront in Kenilworth Park to create a floating dock and kayak launch, improved access for those using the river and its banks for recreational activity like fishing and educational purposes, and a trail connecting to the existing Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (ART).

Aerial rendering of proposed bridge. Click to enlarge.

The Arboretum Bridge & Trail is intended to improve connectivity between neighborhoods along the southern banks of the Anacostia in Northeast DC (eg. Mayfair, River Terrace and Kenilworth-Parkside) and neighborhoods across the river like Navy Yard. Less clear, however, is how the bridge would function as a public trail when the arboretum is not open. The Arboretum draws over 500,000 visitors annually, with the grounds accessible almost daily from 8am to 5pm. Both sides of the bridge would sit on land administered by the National Park Service.

Aerial rendering of proposed bridge. Click to enlarge.

Upon completion of the entire stretch, from the Rock Creek Park Trail to Oxon Hill, Maryland, the Anacostia River Trail (ART) network will be 28 miles long. 

Rendering of the bridge, facing the arboretum. Click to enlarge.

The team is soliciting public feedback online for the next 30 days and will finalize a design in winter 2019-2020. The project is expected to break ground next year and deliver in 2022.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-bridge-to-add-access-between-the-arboretum-and-anacostia-waterfront/15428

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