“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and National Park Service (NPS) announced today that construction for the rehabilitation of the Rock Creek Park Trail and new pedestrian bridge is scheduled to begin on March 31, 2021.
“We are thrilled to finally start construction on this project which is the result of decades long collaboration with our partners and community stakeholders,” said DDOT Interim Director Everett Lott. “The planned repairs and upgrades like the addition of a pedestrian bridge will make this very popular DC destination much more enjoyable for all who use it.”
DDOT and NPS will rehabilitate and construct more than 3.7 miles of the paved, multi-use trail spanning Wards 1, 2, 3, and 4 from M Street NW in Georgetown to Broad Branch Road NW.
The project consists of significant storm drain improvements, reconstruction of an existing retaining wall, streambank stabilization, trail reconstruction and widening with permeable pavement. The upgraded trail will be between 8 and 10 feet wide and the surface material used will be dense mix asphalt and porous asphalt. These improvements will help drain stormwater from the project and result in reduced erosion and trail maintenance.
“This project is another great example of the National Park Service and District government collaborating and sharing expertise to better serve neighbors and visitors,” said Julia Washburn, Rock Creek Park Superintendent. “The National Park Service looks forward to continuing to work with DDOT to improve trails and access to parks across Washington, DC.”
A key feature of the project is a new 110-foot pedestrian bridge just south of the existing Beach Drive tunnel near the Smithsonian National Zoo. The new bridge will move bicyclists and pedestrians away from the current narrow sidewalk directly adjacent to the travel lanes on Rock Creek Parkway to a safer, dedicated path that will improve connectivity between the Rock Creek Park Multi-Use Trail and the Zoo Loop Trail. The project will repair the streambank and trail that previously collapsed near the National Zoo and will also add nearly one mile of newly constructed trail alongside Piney Branch Parkway between Beach Drive and Arkansas Avenue NW, providing new and safe access to the park and trails.
Construction activities will be conducted in seven phases expected to be completed in Spring 2023 and will require periodic closures of park trails and Beach Drive. All closures and detours will be coordinated with NPS and communicated to the public in advance via the project website and DDOT and NPS listervs.”