(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray officially released his Vision for a Sustainable DC at a ribbon-cutting event for the long-awaited opening of the Riverwalk Trail Bridge along the Anacostia River. In addition, he proposed a legislative package that will help lead the way for green businesses, restore the environment and protect vulnerable populations.
Mayor Gray was joined by Deputy Federal Highway Administrator (FHWA) Greg Nadeau, Councilmembers Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy, D.C. Office of Planning (OP) Director Harriet Tregoning, District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Christophe A. G. Tulou and community members.
After seven months of community outreach and engagement, the Mayor marked an important milestone in his Sustainable DC Initiative by setting out his vision to transform the District of Columbia into the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.
“Ensuring the long-term sustainability of our city is about improving lives and opportunity for all our residents,” Mayor Gray said. “My Vision for a Sustainable DC is ambitious and means we all need to work together to create One City that is healthy, clean, equitable, and prosperous. We are working to benefit residents today and for generations to come.”
The goal of the Sustainable DC initiative is to develop and implement a strategy to:
- Broaden and diversify the District’s economy and the range of available employment and business opportunities for residents;
- Reduce disparities related to income, health, employment and education across the city; and
- Ensure a high quality of life and a clean environment for our residents, workers, and visitors.
Focused on the “triple bottom line” of simultaneously promoting economy, community equity and the environment, the Vision for a Sustainable DC includes aggressive, actionable goals for the built environment, climate, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste, water, and the green economy. The Vision provides direction for the next phase of plan development, during which agencies, community representatives, businesses and members of the public will refine a detailed implementation and action plan over the next six months.
As an example of actions to promote this “triple bottom line,” the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Bridge will deliver benefits across the built environment, climate, energy, nature and transportation. It is a perfect example of the type of investment the District must continue to make — literally and figuratively bridging divides and bringing people together.
“To reach our goals, we need to think big and build big — like this amazing new bridge that provides better, safer access for recreation, a healthy alternative for commuters and access to the natural resources of the Anacostia River,” Mayor Gray said. “We need vision and we need action, and that is what you are seeing here today. Our bold ideas and our bold structures will build on past efforts, like the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, to create a world-class waterfront and vibrant city.”
“By putting people back to work and improving access to some of the city’s most scenic and historic areas, we are making a long-term investment in the nation’s capital and in the lives of its residents,” said Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau of the FHWA.
The trail bridge crosses CSX Railroad tracks and a wetland just north of the John Philip Sousa Bridge overpass, and completes the trail connections on the west side of the Anacostia River from South Capitol Street to Benning Road. Sustainable aspects of the bridge include its weathering steel frame and fiber-reinforced-polymer bridge deck, both of which reduce long-term maintenance costs and environmental impacts.
The bridge is the latest section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trial to open. The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is a key component of the District’s progress toward creating a world-class waterfront via the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI). To date, 12 of the ultimate 20 miles of the trail are open for use. Once complete, the trail will allow seamless pedestrian and bicycle travel between the Tidal Basin and Bladensburg Marina Park in Maryland. A second similar trail bridge is scheduled to open this summer.
For more information about the trail or AWI, visit the AWI website. For more information on the Sustainable DC vision, visit the Sustainable DC website.