WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today joined U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and other federal, state and local officials along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to unveil the design of the final trail link, which will connect the District of Columbia and Maryland. This four-mile trail project, known as the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment, is expected to begin construction next spring.
“The Anacostia River Trail provides residents along the Anacostia Watershed with access to attractive trails for bikers, hikers and commuters,” said Senator Cardin. “The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment of the trail is critical to connecting the Maryland and District of Columbia network. As we move forward with this project, it’s clear that this trail will be a model urban park, providing area residents with access to the great outdoors and helping make local communities more livable.”
The four-mile segment creates new connections between communities, the river and its natural resources while enhancing recreational and educational opportunities for trail users. At the same time, the trail increases accessibility to transit stations and makes bicycle commuting more attractive by shortening travel times by as much as 30 minutes.
This key link will provide 60 miles of trails in Maryland and in the District Columbia. Within the District, the segment is part of the planned 20-mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will connect 16 waterfront neighborhoods to the Anacostia River, Southwest Waterfront, Nationals Park, Washington Navy Yard, RFK Stadium, National Arboretum, and other popular destinations. To date, more than 12 miles of the District’s trail are open and heavily used. This new portion of the trail will link to more than 40 miles of trails in Maryland that travel throughout the Anacostia River Tributary System and connect to numerous schools, businesses, libraries, museums, shopping centers and Metro and MARC transit stations.
This $15 million trail project is jointly funded by: a $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation 2012 TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant, $3.5 million from the District of Columbia and $1.5 million from Maryland’s Cycle Maryland Bikeways Program.
“Today, as partners, we are delivering a top priority missing trail link that pushes us one step closer to delivering an 800-mile cohesive trail network across the State of Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “The State’s $1.5 million investment in this trail shows how the Cycle Maryland Initiative helps local jurisdictions build key connections that make biking a true transportation option, that reduce our impact on the land and that improve quality of life for this entire region.”
“Interior is proud to be a part of this effort to revitalize the Anacostia River watershed,” said Secretary Salazar. “This landmark project not only reconnects urban communities with the great outdoors, but it also reminds us of the power of partnerships when it comes to protecting and investing in our urban parks, waterways and economies.”
“We are very appreciative of the TIGER grant that will enable the completion of this ‘Pathway to Prince George’s’ for District of Columbia residents and visitors while enabling County residents a new and safe transportation option for both recreation and commuting into the District,” said Prince George’s County Executive Baker. “This planned trail segment will link to a 40-mile network already in place in Prince George’s County. Those trails are located on land owned and maintained by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and are crown jewels in our County’s nationally recognized, outstanding parks and recreation system.”