After Extended Delays, The Met Branch Trail/Rhode Island Ave Pedestrian Bridge Moves Forward

MBT RIA Bridge
MBT/RIA Pedestrian Bridge Rendering Courtesy of DDOT

After almost two years of delays, a project to build a pedestrian and bike bridge across the train tracks near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station appears to be moving forward. We are enthusiastic based on the launch of a DC Department Of Transportation (DDOT) project webpage for the bridge. The purpose of the bridge is to make it easier and safer to cross the railroad tracks near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station, and create an easier connection between Rhode Island Avenue and the Metropolitan Branch Trail. According to the project’s website:

The truss bridge is designed in the style of an old railroad bridge. Ramps on both sides will provide wheelchair and bicycle access while a stairway on the west side will provide a more direct route. The open design will allow for visibility as well as beautiful city views and 24-hour lighting will enhance safety.

The project has a long history of delays. In November 2011 DDOT released a Request For Proposals, with the expectation that the bridge would be delivered in 2012. Unfortunately, the contract award process was terminated due to issues with bidders. Then there were delays regarding the construction staging area, that seem to be resolved. Construction is set to begin this week  and is expected to last 16 to 18 months. Let’s hope that this time around the project goes ahead without any issues.

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