How did this project start?
The idea for the 11th Street Bridge Park first began with Harriet Tregoning, the former Director of the DC Office of Planning. Harriet saw a unique opportunity with the construction of the new vehicular 11th Street bridges to repurpose the old spans for a park linking long disconnected communities. Harriet engaged Scott Kratz, a D.C. resident who lives a few blocks away from the future park site to help lead a community engagement effort to see if local residents were excited about this idea. After volunteering for two years and hearing enthusiastic responses at over 200 meetings, Scott joined the staff of Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC as the first full-time paid staff in 2013. The Bridge Park now has 6 full time staff.
How will you access the park?
Visitors will be able to access the park from the Anacostia Riverfront Trail on both sides of the river in Anacostia Park (Ward 8) and by the US Navy Yard (Ward 6). Additionally, the park will connect to the existing 16 ft. pedestrian walkway on the local bridge which begins at the corner of MLK and Good Hope Road SE in historic Anacostia and 11th and Water Street SE at the Navy Yard. A number of bus trunk lines have stops on both sides of the bridge including the 90, 92, P6 and Circulator. The Bridge Park will be an approximate 15 minute walk from the Anacostia Metro station and a 25 minute walk from Eastern Market Metro Station. Finally, visitors driving to the park have the option of parking at nearby garages including the Maritime Plaza and the Anacostia Metro Station.
How are funds secured for construction?
There are four sources of funding for the 11th Street Bridge Park: corporations / foundations; District government, individuals and New Market Tax Credits.
Where is the project now?
We recently received unanimous approval of our design concept by two important federal review agencies, the National Capital Planning Commission and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. We are at 15% design and in December, 2018 our design team will begin work to take the selected design to 100% completion along with the environmental review process, permitting and right of way.
When will construction start?
We anticipate 2 years of further design work, environmental review, permitting and right of way. Our partners at the District Department of Transportation should begin soliciting a general contractor in 2020. Construction should start in 2021 with the park opening in 2023.
How much will it cost to build the park and how much has been raised?
Our capital campaign is $139 million which includes funding for the park’s design and construction, a $10 million operating reserve to support the park once open and implementation of our equitable development strategies. To date, we have secured $114.1 million towards our goal.
What amenities will the park have?
The primary park features were identified by local residents and include an environmental education center, amphitheater, kayak / canoe launch, urban agriculture, café and 21st century play space. These program ideas came directly from an intensive two-year engagement effort during hundreds of meetings. Additional planned features include a hammock grove, rain gardens, picnic garden and overlooks with views of the Capitol and Anacostia hills.
When will the park open?
The park is expected to open in 2023.
Who will manage the park?
The park will be owned by the D.C. city government and managed by Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR) staff. The different programming spaces will be managed by local nonprofits who have expertise in that particular focus. For example, the Environmental Education Center would be run by a nonprofit organization like Anacostia Watershed Society.
What evaluation and measurement metrics are involved?
To guide and track progress, the Urban Institute has helped Bridge Park planners develop a logic model and performance measures to track the equitable development plan’s four focus areas: housing; employment, small business development and cultural equity.
Health Impact Assessment
A key goal of the 11th Street Bridge Park is to build healthy communities in the neighborhoods surrounding the future park. In partnership with George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, we have completed a baseline Health Impact Assessment using existing data sets to describe the current health status of residents living within a half-mile walk shed of the future Bridge Park site and conditions related to their built environment.
Economic Impact Study
A key goal of the 11th Street Bridge Park is to serve as an anchor for inclusive economic opportunity. Staff retained HR&A Advisors, Inc. (HR&A) to estimate the economic impacts of the proposed park as well as annual attendance.
Accessibility and Walkability
Students of the Planning Studio of the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus created a report on Access, Walkability and Wayfinding to examine and provide recommendations on issues that relate to the experience of getting to the 11th Street Bridge Park. It is important for Bridge Park planners to make sure to provide a safe, comfortable and easy access for visitors.