Metropolitan Branch Trail – Now It Moves Forward

DDOT issued a media advisory this afternoon announcing the impasse (note: it is assumed that the other issues have been resolved since granting the “right of way” would be useless to a design-build contractor who is not assured of a subsequent Notice to Proceed) between Pepco and the District has been cleared and that construction will commence this summer. UPDATE - The press release regarding the press conference is at end of post.

A reminder that the contract awarded was a design-build contract–meaning some design work will have to be completed before actual construction will begin. However, the contract does specify a 1-year time limit for the project; therefore, the section of the trail in the contract (Franklin Ave. -> New York Ave. Metro Station) should be finished before Summer ’09. More details on the Metropolitan Branch Trail along with this specific portion here.

It cannot be overstated how much impact such a tiny portion of funds will make on the neighborhood. Here is the concluding line from DCMud’s post on the announcement:

…the project will undoubtedly be a boon for a few neighborhoods that will be suddenly be connected along the the railroad tracks that once condemned them to relative isolation.

UPDATE

May 21, 2008

Mayor Fenty, DDOT and Pepco Announce Agreement to Build Phase II of Metropolitan Branch Trail

( Washington , D.C. ) – Mayor Adrian Fenty and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced today that Pepco will grant a right of entry agreement for property in the city’s Eckington neighborhood. This agreement will allow DDOT to immediately begin the design for Phase II of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT), a section located between New York Avenue, NE and Franklin Street, NE. Pepco will formally donate the land to the District in the next few months. The construction will link various independent sections into a three mile stretch of continuous trail.

“The Metropolitan Branch Trail will connect kids to schools, people to their jobs, provide for a place to recreate as well as act as a transportation corridor which will help to reduce energy consumption in the city,” said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

The trail will provide a vital connection to the New York Avenue Metro station in addition to the recently announced bicycle/pedestrian bridge connecting the trail to the Rhode Island Metro station.

“This land donation furthers Pepco’s commitment to the District, its residents and the environment,” said Pepco Region President Thomas Graham. “It’s a natural connection. The land is adjacent to our new substation that is partially powered by solar panels.”

The Metropolitan Branch Trail is a planned eight-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail between Union Station and Takoma Park , Md. The new addition to the trail will take users over Florida Avenue , under New York Avenue and over Rhode Island Avenue , avoiding eighteen lanes of heavily traveled roadway. It will connect to the Capital Crescent Trail, the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System and the National Mall, and will be part of the East Coast Greenway. The MBT will be an important recreation and transportation route and will provide direct access to seven of Metro’s Red Line stations.

“This is a critical step for construction on one of our most important trail projects. DDOT is extremely pleased to finally reach this agreement,” added DDOT Director Emeka Moneme.

In 2005, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) developed the concept plan for the 7 miles of the trail within District boundaries. Currently, sections of the trail along 2nd Street, NE , at the New York Ave. Metro Station, and along John McCormack Road have been built. The section from New York Ave. to Franklin Street is scheduled to be completed by summer of 2009.

Construction for Phase II is anticipated to be completed by summer 2009.

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10 thoughts on “Metropolitan Branch Trail – Now It Moves Forward

  1. That is wonderful news. I’ll believe it when I see it. Though I have seen big trucks moving earth over there.

    Why isn’t Harry Thomas Jr. going to be at the press conference? That’s an interesting omission.

  2. I can’t wait for the MBT to done, finished and open. I live on V Street and can’t wait for a quicker, safer, and more pleasant walk to the RI Ave metro station. RI Ave has too much traffic and looks like a highway during rush hour. I think the MBT will really cut my commute to and from the station.

  3. I live in Brookland near the Intersection of Death (i.e. Michigan Ave., 13th St., and Taylor St.) I commute daily to my workplace on the Mall via bicycle even in Winter. So, of course, I’ve had my close calls now that DC traffic resembles Cairo, Egypt at rush hour.
    Need I say that I think it’s an outrage that the MBT is still unfinished? Two or more years overdue!? And day after day I see the construction equipment IDLE. No one is at present working on the damn thing. WHY!? And why isn’t this much unloved city’s government keeping the contractor’s feet to the fire? It’s the least the city council could do. Or are they waiting for yet another hapless bicyclist to get squashed like a cockroach. Even so, I’d rather take my chances as a bicyclist than ride the Metro these days!!! Harumph!

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