The long-awaited segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
that will link the District of Columbia to Maryland will begin construction this spring. Milani Construction LLC of D.C. last month won approval to construct the over-$22-million, four-mile segment that will run from Benning Road in the district to Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Maryland.
Known as the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens section, Illya Suprum, project engineer at Milani, says the project will take two years to complete. It will have trails and bridges, including a 1,500-foot long boardwalk and four prefabricated metal bridges spanning small rivers along the trail.
“We are excited to soon start jointly constructing the much anticipated Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment with our partners in Maryland. We recognize its importance to residents and visitors and its significance in providing the missing link in the larger 60-mile regional bicycle and pedestrian trail network between the two jurisdictions,” E. J. Simie, District Department of Transportation project manager, said in a statement provided to Elevation DC.
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is multi-use, for walking and biking. The trail is a total 60 miles long, split 20 miles in the District and 40 miles in Maryland. Within the District, the trail runs along the east and west banks of the Anacostia River to the Tidal Basis and National Mall. Based on 2004 estimates, the District’s 20-mile portion is expected to cost $52 million.
The trail’s $22-million Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens section is jointly funded by the District and Maryland via a $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant, $3.9 million from the District, $4.7 million from the District’s Highway Trust Fund from the Federal Highway Administration and $3.5 million from Maryland.
To date, more than 12 of the 20-mile District portion from South Capital Street to Benning Road on both sides of the river are open and heavily used. The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment provides the missing link in the larger 60-mile regional trail network between the two jurisdictions along the east bank of the river.
The existing District trail snakes past landmarks that include the National Arboretum, Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, National Park, the Washington Navy Yard and the Southwest Waterfront. The Buzzard’s Point, Mall Connectors, Oxon Run and the new National Arboretum segments will be contracted as funding becomes available. Southwest Waterfront and Florida Run segments will be done as part of private development projects of the same name.