This past weekend, I walked along the Metropolitan Branch Trail route from T St NE up to Franklin Street in order to gauge its construction progress. As you can see, a finished Trail by the July 22 contract deadline appears to be questionable.
The work on the Trail began at the Franklin Street overpass with what appears to be an 18-ft wide path. A 150-200ft ramp is to be built to connect the Trail to the roadway.
The narrow gravel base does not yet extend to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station (see image) and the cleared pathway ends just after the station. After which the propose route is littered with large debris piles and Fort Myer equipment and materials. And this just gets you to T Street.
This does not give me great hope that the Trail will be completed by July 22nd as stipulated in the contract. My guess is that the DDOT and Fort Myer Construction’s work on past and future projects will persuade DDOT from enforcing any penalties or pressuring the contractor to expedite the work.
An email has been sent to DDOT for their comment, but I do not expect a reply.
That being said, however, it is still inspiring to walk along the route, see an area ignored by the city for so long, and envision what IS going to be here in the coming months. There will be an uninterrupted path from Franklin Street to L Street with views of the elevated Metro track, at-grade rail tracks and our nation’s Capitol. Let’s hope it is done right.