Planned Long Bridge Replacement, From Virginia and D.C., Lacks Pedestrian and Bike Elements

In June, planners completed a draft environment impact statement for a replacement for the Long Bridge, which connects trains from Virginia to D.C. Local advocates see the lack of a pedestrian and bike trail as a missed opportunity.
November 6, 2018, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Long Bridge, pictured in 2012.
Elvert Barnes

"A coalition of businesses, neighborhood groups and transportation advocates are urging planners to include a bike and pedestrian trail along the long-planned replacement for the Long Bridge, a key railroad connection from Virginia into D.C.," reports Alex Koma.

"Planners are still sorting out exactly what the new bridge might look like. The original structure, which runs from near the Pentagon in Arlington to Southwest D.C., was built back in 1904, and officials from around the region have viewed replacing it as a necessary step for improving freight and passenger rail service between D.C. and Northern Virginia," explains Koma.

The advocacy coalition, which includes the Crystal City Civic Association, Friends of Long Bridge Park, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and Greater Greater Washington, recently penned a letter to both local and federal transportation officials working on the project, after the trail was left out of early project design assessments.

David Cranor wrote about the project's lack of pedestrian and bike elements for Greater Greater Washington in January 2018.

Still, the planners working on the project do not seem to share these advocates' enthusiasm for the pedestrian d bike trail idea. Koma writes: "In a draft of an environmental impact statement [pdf] prepared in late June, federal and local planners stress that any trail is “not part of the purpose and need” of the project. Even still, they agreed to include the study of four potential trail crossings in more detailed studies of the project to be completed over the coming months."

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Published on Monday, November 5, 2018 in Arl Now
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