More than a month after the July 22 contract deadline, Fort Myer Construction has yet to complete the Metropolitan Branch Trail and DDOT had yet to offer any update of the schedule to the public or the Mayor’s office. Today, the new website went live, but there is really no new information to anyone following the progress of the Trail.
However, DDOT did meet with Fort Myer today and relayed to me the following new estimated schedule:
Trail open: Late Fall
Trail completion (landscaping and other beautifications): Late Spring ’10
Rhode Island Ave ped/bike bridge: Out for bid next year (meaning: likely 2011)
Again walking along the Trail site this past weekend, I can report only a tad more progress. The ramp up to 8th Street NE, underneath the Franklin Street overpass, is graded, but not paved. Grading has been done south to shopping center across from the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station.
Missing: All fencing; all paving; all landscaping; benches; safety phones; site-clearing south of R Street
Still present: lots of Fort Myer Construction materials and debris (from other projects); homeless people, their belongings and their waste under New York Avenue bridge.
Other issues: Rhode Island pedestrian/bike bridge will not be completed before opening of Trail (Does anyone foresee a problem erecting a fence, blocking people from a shortcut they have been utilizing for over a decade? Fencing will be 6-8 ft aluminum–hopefully strong enough to thwart perturbed individuals); the on-again/off-again temporary access path to the Trail from Harry Thomas Way appears to be off the table–at least until development of the property.
Reasons offered (by DDOT) for delay: drainage issues (legal, not realized) onto neighboring land; right-of-way issues