Everyone loves a great bridge. Planners in southeast D.C. will capitalize on that sentiment as they begin work on a bridge, possibly as early as this week, that will extend the Anacostia riverwalk between Diamond Teague Park and the Park at the Yards. The 611 foot structure will surmount the DC Water facility now dividing the two parks, furthering the pedestrian path that will eventually parallel the Anacostia River and wrap around Buzzards Point, connecting northeast D.C., the southwest waterfront, and the tidal basin.
The bridge - a slightly arched, elongated pier with wood planking and steel cabled rails - is being designed by Paul Friedberg of MPFP LLC, a New York landscape architecture and urban planning firm that designed the neighboring park and eye catching footbridge, both completed last year, which have achieved both critical acclaim and public success.
MPFP Managing Principal Rick Parisi says the new span, a pier with piles, will feature an Ipe deck to match the boardwalk, with stainless steel cable rails, gently arcing from elevation 13 (above median water line), rising to elevation 18, and sloping back down to elevation 7, allowing service boats to access the O Street pumping station, where DC Water manages overflow from sewers and rain. The incandescently lit pier will offer wayfarers an overlook opposite the pumping station with interpretive graphics, some in the ground, some in vertical planes. Parisi says the graphics will "talk about the use of water and history of DC water, improving the quality of water and uses of water today." The architect says work could start as soon as this week, as piles have to be completed by end of March, before the start of spawning season (for fish, not architects).Though the bridge will enhance park aesthetics, the ultimate goal is linking the piecemeal trail along the riverfront and its federal, District, and private property owners. The capitol riverfront trail has already opened between Benning Road and the 11th Street Bridge, the next obstacle is the Navy Yard, where the trail is built but not yet open to the public.Claire Schaefer, Deputy Executive Director for the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, says the bridge "will start to create that feeling of promenade." Soon pedestrians will be able to stroll from the old soccer stadium to the new baseball stadium and on to the new soccer stadium in Buzzards Point without ever leaving the waterfront. Well, maybe. The newest installment of that promenade is being cosponsored by the D.C. government, DC Water, and Forest City.
Bridge photo courtesy Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District
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