GWMP has $220 Million in Project Pipeline

NPS recently released fact sheets containing a property inventory, an estimate of deferred maintenance and repairs and a list of major projects for each NPS unit. The good news is that the George Washington Memorial Parkway has $220 million of projects in its funding stream including the Mount Vernon Trail North rehab as well as rehabilitation of three wooden bridges on the trail.

The bad news is that GWMP has an estimated $600 Million in deferred maintenance and repairs. The Park maintains 105 buildings, 51 miles of trails, 79 miles of paved roads, 2 water systems and 10 waste water systems along with 149 other assets including bridges, marinas, and monuments.

A summary of assets maintained by the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the Mount Vernon Trail. We are on the trail every weekend fixing a maintenance issue. Visit https://mountvernontrail.org/events and sign up to volunteer today.

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Mount Vernon Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail is turning 50 and the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail is planning #MVT50 – a celebration of a truly monumental trail. We will honor five decades of natural beauty, community partnership, and volunteer stewardship of one of the great public resources that makes the Washington area special. 


Register today to let us know you’re coming!

Please join the FOMVT Board, along with our pals and partners, for an afternoon of guest speakers, family-friendly activities, and booths featuring the National Park Service ParkMobile, Bike Arlington, Capital Bikeshare, Go Alex, Capital Trails Coalition, East Coast Greenway, Rosslyn Business Improvement District, Friends of Dyke Marsh and more.

Register today to let us know you’re coming!

A ceremony at 11 a.m. will honor everyone who has volunteered and donated to improve the Mount Vernon Trail. Speakers will include GWMP Superintendent Charles Cuvelier, Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol, Alexandria City Council Member Sarah Bagley and Fairfax County Supervisor Dan Storck.

Register today to let us know you’re coming!

Like the Mount Vernon Trail itself, this event is free and open to the public. Keep up to date on the event on our website

Event Details:  

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Ceremony: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Location: Daingerfield Island

1 Marina Drive

Alexandria, VA 22033 (directions)

 
Register today to let us know you’re coming!

Public Meeting for Power Plant Redevelopment

Trail users have another opportunity to engage in planning for the power plant redevelopment in Alexandria. The project will bring improved connections to the Mount Vernon Trail. The focus of this meeting is on environment and sustainability.

From the press release:

On Thursday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m., Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) will host the eighth in a series of virtual and open house community meetings regarding the transformation of the Potomac River Generating Site (PRGS) in Old Town North. The City and the HRP Alexandria team are committed to engaging the community and obtaining feedback on this project and are working together to facilitate the best possible process during this challenging time. In-person community meetings will supplement online engagement throughout this process when public gatherings are again advisable.     

The meeting will focus on environment and sustainability for the redevelopment of the former PRGS site project. The community will have an opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions. 

Registration information can be found below as well as in the attached flyer. For more information, please visit the City’s project website or HRP’s project website.   

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.You can send your questions and comments to HRPInfoMidatlantic@hilcoglobal.com before the webinar. Spanish Interpretation services will be available. 

Bridge 12 Reconstruction Starts February 14th

View of the current southern approach to Bridge 12, which is on a steep hill with multiple curves.

NPS will begin construction to rebuild Bridge 12 starting on Monday. Bridge 12 is just north of Fort Hunt. It’s the bridge that is located in a ravine with steep hills and curves on either approach to the bridge. The new bridge will have a straight alignment and will also avoid any elevation change while meeting modern design standards. NPS will also replace the bumpy asphalt on either side of the bridge. Trail users will be detoured on to a lane on the Parkway and will be separated from cars by a concrete barrier. See the picture below for an outline of the detour, the current trail alignment and the new trail alignment.

The full press release is below:

McLean, Va. — On February 14, the National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and Virginia Department of Transportation, will begin a project to replace Bridge 12 and realign the Mount Vernon Trail to improve safety near Fort Hunt Park. During the project, trail users will be detoured around the construction area on a temporary trail.  

The NPS will straighten trail curves that lead to Bridge 12, located approximately 400 yards north of Fort Hunt Park. The bridge will be relocated, allowing for a straighter alignment and a reduced grade leading to and from the bridge. The NPS will also upgrade the bridge railings and replace more than 350 tons of asphalt on the trail. Realigning the trail, replacing the bridge and laying new trail asphalt will reduce the severity and frequency of bike crashes on this section of trail. 

“The Mount Vernon Trail is a popular recreational resource and serves as an important regional transportation connection hosting over one million users annually,” Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, said. “This project will improve trail conditions and increase safety for all visitors.” 

During this project— which is expected to be completed in late summer— trail users will be detoured on the adjacent southbound section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway near Waynewood Boulevard. To protect trial users on the detour, concrete barriers will be placed on the roadway and drivers will be guided into one lane. Trail users and drivers should expect temporary, short-term closures and should follow trail signs and directions from onsite flaggers.  

Mount Vernon Trail is an 18-mile paved multi-use trail stretching from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. The trail is a hub for recreational activity and connects with regional trails including the Potomac Heritage, Custis, Rock Creek, Four Mile Run, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge trails.  

Crystal City Water Park Construction Starts

Fencing went up in January 2022, marking the start of renovation. The Crystal City Connector remains open.

Fencing has gone up around the Crystal City Water Park as work begins to renovate the park. The Crystal City Connector to access the Mount Vernon Trail remains open, but please exercise extra caution as you pass by the work zone.

The redevelopment promises some upgraded amenities for trail users. A new trailhead facility that includes restrooms be built. Other changes include several vendor kiosks, a platform for performers, more shaded grassy areas and a bar built over the top of the existing water fountain. These changes are likely to make the water park an appealing destination from the trail and build upon the work that the National Landing BID has done to make the park an active and lively location with Fridays at the Fountain. Check out the full concept.

High level view of changes to the park include a VRE entrance, an event lawn, shaded seating, a fountain plaza, a hillside lawn, a bar on top of the fountain and the addition of retail in the promenade area along Crystal Drive.

Seismograph and Trail Signs in Alexandria

Trail side seismograph in Alexandria where the Mount Vernon Trail meets Pendleton Street.

Trail users may have noticed a few recent changes on the trail in Alexandria where the trail meets Pendleton Street. The most recent is a white box with a solar panel. The box is a seismograph which has been placed to monitor ground vibrations as a result of Alexandria River Renew’s project to prevent combined sewage overflow from entering the Potomac.

New signs at the trail intersection with Pendleton Street.

Earlier this year the City of Alexandria changed the signage at Pendleton Street. Previously trail users had a stop sign before entering the street. That sign was replaced with a yield sign and a sign reminding users to look both ways before entering the street. The city also added two wayfinding signs to direct trail users to continue to the Mount Vernon Trail via either Union Street or Royal Street.

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.

Track and Fence Removal Near Trail in Alexandria

GenOn, the former operator of the power plant in Alexandria, completed a project last month that removed the black steel fencing and train track along the trail south of the power plant. The work was performed as part of the termination of GenOn’s lease with CSX. The fence, tracks and gravel are now gone and replaced with straw. The area will be reseeded with grass and will eventually become part of a linear park as part of the redevelopment of the plant by Hilco Redevelopment Partners.

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.

New Crosswalks and Lane Reductions Completed

The National Park Service recently completed repainting of the crosswalks on the Mount Vernon Trail on the southern portion of the trail in Fairfax County. In conjunction with the fresh paint, NPS installed high visibility signs at the crossings to indicate the presence of cyclists and pedestrians.

The crosswalk repainting and signage was the result of a recommendation in the Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study which recommended lane reductions at multiple spots on the Parkway that experienced a high number of crashes due to excessive speeds and frequent turn movements.

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.

NATIONAL LANDING BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID) TEAMS UP WITH THE FRIENDS OF MOUNT VERNON TRAIL TO CHAMPION LOCAL TRAIL PRESERVATION

The National Landing Business Improvement District has signed on as the sponsor of our 2022 trail improvement events. This sponsorship will provide resources for the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to continue to improve the conditions on the trail and better connect trail users to facilities, events and businesses in National Landing. We’re getting started a little bit early by hosting multiple trail improvement events on the Crystal City Connector in December. Check out https://mountvernontrail.eventbrite.com for full details and to register for an upcoming event.

From the press release:

The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) and the Friends of Mount Vernon Trail today announced a partnership that will seek to preserve the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail that runs from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Through the partnership, the BID and Friends of Mount Vernon Trail will host clean-up events every Saturday from December 11 through January 22, and on Martin Luther King Day.

“We are really excited to partner with the National Landing BID to achieve our common goal of making the Mount Vernon Trail a safe and pleasant doorway to National Landing. The BID’s sponsorship of our 2022 trail improvement events is providing vital support to purchase equipment and supplies for our volunteers,” said Judd Isbell, President, Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. “We’ve had over 800 volunteers so far in 2021 and there have been times where we’ve had more volunteers than tools at our events. Thanks to the support of the BID, our volunteers will be able to do even more to improve the trail in 2022.”

Weekly trail improvement events will begin on Saturday, December 11 at the Crystal City Connector and will also include areas at the 14th Street Bridge Trail and trails south of the Marina Towers. Volunteers will focus on trimming vegetation, removing invasive plants, cleaning and repairing bridges and the trail surface. Before the weekly events wrap up on January 22, the National Landing BID and Friends of Mount Vernon Trail will also host a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Day on January 17.

“Our wealth of green spaces and access to regional trails like the Mount Vernon Trail which boasts uninterrupted views of the DC skyline and stunning nature preserves, is part of what makes National Landing such an active, vibrant community,” said Tracy Gabriel, President and Executive Director, National Landing BID. “We are proud to partner with the Friends of Mount Vernon Trail to bring the community together to continue to improve the trail and support its safe use for years to come.”

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please visit: mountvernontrail.eventbrite.com

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About National Landing Business Improvement District

The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) is a public-private partnership established to promote and activate the area’s business, retail, restaurant and residential community through placemaking, public art, transportation, economic development, events, marketing and promotion. This dynamic, mixed-use urban center encompasses the vibrant Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard-Arlington neighborhoods, and includes more than 26,000 residents, nearly 12 million square feet of office space, approximately 5,500 hotel rooms and over 450 restaurants and shops. Already Virginia’s largest walkable downtown, National Landing is in the midst of an exciting transformation driven by billions of dollars in public and private investment that will deliver new and enhanced housing, offices, parks, transportation and infrastructure in the coming years. The National Landing BID is helping to steer this growth in ways that are sustainable and enhance the area’s diversity and livability. For more information, visit NationalLanding.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About The Friends of Mount Vernon Trail

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail is an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization that partners with the George Washington Memorial Parkway to improve the Mount Vernon Trail and promote its safe use. The group holds weekly trail improvement events that includes trimming vegetation, removing invasive plants, cleaning and repairing bridges and repairing the trail surface. Find out more at mountvernontrail.org

CC2DCA Bridge Comments Express Support for Connection to the Mount Vernon Trail

Arlington County released the responses to a questionnaire conducted this summer in support of a study about building a new multimodal bridge from Crystal City to DCA. The study is exploring the possibility of providing walking and biking connections to the airport as well as connections to transit such Metro, buses and the VRE. Multiple comments supported adding direct access from the Mount Vernon Trail to the bridge. The current access to the airport from the trail involves traveling through a parking lot, an uncomfortable underpass with 90 degree turns and crossing over some ramps before entering a parking garage that is far from the terminals.

Because the project would use federal funds and also likely impact federal lands in the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the next action is to conduct a NEPA process that will include an Environmental Assessment that would produce multiple alternatives as well as a preferred alternative for construction. The NEPA process is lengthy and is anticipated to take three years.

Additional information is available at the Arlington County project website.

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.