Work begins on Rock Creek Park Trail pedestrian bridge, trail rehab

A rehabilitation and pedestrian bridge project that will shore up D.C.’s existing Rock Creek Park Trail is getting underway this week.

The District Department of Transportation, along with the National Park Service, jointly announced that work starts Wednesday.

The plan is to improve more than 3.7 miles worth of the multi-use trail spanning Wards 1 through 4, from M Street NW in Georgetown all the way up to Broad Branch Road NW.

“We are thrilled to finally start construction on this project, which is the result of decadeslong collaboration with our partners and community stakeholders,” said DDOT Interim Director Everett Lott in a news release.

Construction will target storm drains and a retaining wall, stabilize the stream bank, and also widen the paved trail.

The existing paved trail’s width will extend to between 8 and 10 feet. Crews will also use more absorbent pavement to improve its durability by combining dense mix and porous asphalt.

The series of improvements will redirect stormwater away from the trail to reduce erosion and maintenance.

Another big part of the project includes the installation of a 110-foot long pedestrian bridge that will sit just south of the Beach Drive tunnel close to the National Zoo.

A portion of stream bank and trail that previously collapsed and fell apart near the zoo will also be repaired and resurrected for use.

Close to a mile of new trail will stretch along Piney Branch Parkway between Beach Drive and Arkansas Avenue NW.

DDOT and NPS said the project will require occasional shutdowns of park trails and Beach Drive.

Construction will take place in seven phases with a projected completion date of spring 2023.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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