Work Starting on New Trail Connection at Boundary Channel Drive

The Virginia Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking for construction work on the Boundary Channel Drive Interchange Improvements project on September 28th, 2022. The project will deliver safety and mobility improvements for people walking, biking and driving, along with expanded access to recreational activities.

Representatives from Arlington County, VDOT and the Pentagon breaking ground for the project.

When complete, the project will:

  • Reallocate underutilized roadway space on Boundary Channel Drive to expand sidewalks and add a multi-use trail
  • Convert ramp terminals along Boundary Channel Drive into roundabouts
  • Add a multi-use trail connection to an existing terminus of the Mount Vernon Trail along the Pentagon Lagoon Yacht Basin, on National Park Service Property. This will add a new trail connection between Crystal City-Pentagon City and the regional trail network
  • Implement operational and safety improvements for people driving on I-395, Boundary Channel Drive and Long Bridge Drive.

Construction is anticipated to last approximately 15 months, and will conclude in late 2023. Access to the Long Bridge Aquatic Center will be maintained at all times.

Information on the construction process and phasing for the project can be found on VDOT’s pre-construction update.

New Bridge 12 Opens Near Fort Hunt

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail will host a ribbon cutting with representatives from the National Park Service on Saturday, September 24th at 10 a.m. celebrating the completion of a reconstructed Bridge 12 near Fort Hunt.

View from the south end of the new Bridge 12 north of Fort Hunt Park.

The recently completed bridge is a significant upgrade from the old bridge. The new bridge features a 14 foot width with railings that comply with current bridge standards. The bridge is also has straightened approaches which also have a reduced grade compared to the previous bridge. In addition to the new bridge, the trail surface was replaced from Waynewood Boulevard to Fort Hunt Road. A trail counter is also being installed near the Waynewood Boulevard crossing.

View of the new Bridge 12 with the former bridge in process of being demolished in the foreground.

Construction on the bridge kicked off in February 2022, with trail users detoured on to a separated lane on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The project was made possible through funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Six Year Improvement Plan.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies.

What’s that thing near Memorial Circle?

You might have noticed a little box attached to the signs for the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) at the crosswalks between the Mount Vernon Trail and Memorial Bridge. What is it? Are you on Mount Vernon Trail Candid Camera?

Picture of a RRFB at a crosswalk near Memorial Circle.

The box is there to automatically detects people approaching the crosswalk and activates the RRFB to improve safety at the trail crossing. The RRFBs were installed as part of the Memorial Circle Safety Improvements which also included lane reductions at multiple crossings. The automatic detection was installed after post evaluation of the project determined that a low percentage of trail users were using the button to activate the RRFBs.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies.

Long Bridge Pedestrian and Bike Bridge Receives $20 Million Grant

On August 9th, 2022, the Department of Transportation announced award of $20 million grant to fund the Long Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge across the Potomac River. The bridge will connect East Potomac Park, Long Bridge Park in Arlington and the Mount Vernon Trail.

Concept design of Long Bridge bike/ped bridge connection to the Mount Vernon Trail.

The funding was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program that helps communities plan and carry out projects with local or regional impact.

The new bridge is part of a larger project that will also build an additional rail bridge across the Potomac River. Check out the the project site for additional details.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies.

Shan Riggs Completes 3,000 Mile East Coast Greenway Run

If you saw someone on the trail in June who looked like he was in the middle of a 3,000 mile run, it was probably Shan Riggs. On July 2nd, Shan became the first person to run the entire length of the East Coast Greenway, running 40 miles a day for 78 days. The Mount Vernon Trail is part of the East Coast Greenway and is roughly the halfway point. Shan’s run was part of a fundraising effort to support the East Coast Greenway Alliance which works towards the mission of making the ECG 100% off-road.

See more about Shan’s journey and consider supporting the East Coast Greenway at https://www.greenway.org/shan

Photo from East Coast Greenway Alliance

Four Mile Run Trail Detour Near MVT Connection

Those accessing the Mount Vernon Trail via Four Mile Run Trail will see a detour beginning on July 25th as Dominion Energy begins work to replace the substation at the corner of Eads St and the Four Mile Run Trail. Dominion will also be undergrounding some of the overhead high voltage transmission lines that cross Four Mile Run towards Alexandria.

Crews have set up detours along Route 1/Richmond Highway and South Glebe Road in anticipation of the closure.

Be aware of any changes when using the trail. For more information, visit Dominion Energy’s project page.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies.

Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail Seeking Treasurer

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail (FoMVT) is seeking candidates to join our Board of Directors and serve in the role of Treasurer. FoMVT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that partners with the National Park Service to improve the Mount Vernon Trail through volunteer stewardship.

The ideal candidate will have some experience with book keeping or accounting. The primary duties of the Treasurer include:

  • Monthly tracking and reconciliation of income and expenses
  • Producing monthly and annual financial statements
  • Completing annual federal and state financial documents

As a member of the Board of Directors, responsibilities include:

  • Service on at least one committee to provide recommendations to full board
  • Reviewing and adopting organizational plans and policies
  • Supporting the organization through giving or getting resources
  • Serving as an ambassador for the organization

The anticipated time commitment is 4 hours per month. If you are interested please send an introductory e-mail to Board Chair Judd Isbell at judd.isbell@gmail.com telling us about yourself and what interests you in serving on the Board and as our Treasurer by July 30th. Candidates will be reviewed and interviewed by a committee of current Board members.

FoMVT strives to build a Board that reflects the diversity of the people that use the trail.

Tour the Alexandria Power Plant

On June 10th and 11th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) will host guided tours of the Potomac River Generating Station (PRGS) site in Old Town North. The tours will offer members of the public an opportunity to meet with the project team and visit the site, which has been closed off from Old Town North and the waterfront for decades. These guided tours will offer members of the public an opportunity to visit the site and learn more about the vision for a vibrant, friendly and walkable waterfront community.

We also recommend checking out the view of the Mount Vernon Trail from atop the pump house. Details and registration are at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/site-tour-of-former-potomac-river-generating-station-registration-311269775277

Long Bridge Project Update Meeting on June 22nd

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority will be holding an online public meeting to talk about the Long Bridge Project on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:00 P.M.

The Long Bridge Project will construct a new, two-track railroad bridge next to the existing Long Bridge, creating a four-track corridor. A new bike-pedestrian bridge also will be constructed as part of the mitigation to National Park Service (NPS) parkland and will span the Potomac River and George Washington Memorial Parkway, connecting Long Bridge Park directly to East and West Potomac Parks.

Can’t make the meeting? The VPRA will also be holding two all-day pop-ups at the Wharf in DC on Wednesday, June 15, and at the Long Bridge Aquatics and Fitness Center on Saturday, June 18. 

Register online to receive the Zoom link for the June 22 meeting, and learn about other upcoming events on the VPRA event page.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies.

CC2DCA Feedback Supports Connection to Mount Vernon Trail

The Crystal City to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Multimodal Connection (CC2DCA) study team recently released a summary of community feedback on the initial concepts for a direct pedestrian connection between Crystal City and National Airport. The feedback included multiple requests for a direction connection to the Mount Vernon Trail. Based on community and transportation agency feedback, five designs have been advanced for further development as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

The five concepts being advanced for further study which includes a mix of alignments that incorporate either a tunnel, bridge or both.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail submitted comments supporting a direct connection of any concept to the Mount Vernon Trail to provide additional options for trail users to reach National Airport and National Landing. We joined multiple other groups advocating for Concept 7D. Additional public outreach will occur in Fall 2022.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies.