Mayor Vincent C. Gray and community leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Great Streets Project.
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy, US Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) Division Administrator Christopher Lawson, the DC Office of Planning (OP), and community leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Great Streets Project.
“Nannie Helen Burroughs was a great woman who worked hard to improve the quality of life for her community, and now we have a street that is worthy of its namesake,” Mayor Gray said. “It’s not just a way to get from point A to point B; it respects the neighborhoods along its curbs and contributes to their success with new infrastructure and cutting-edge environmental features that will reduce the amount of pollution that reaches the Anacostia River.”
The project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), has brought extensive infrastructure improvements to the Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue corridor between Minnesota and Eastern Avenues NE. This corridor now includes continuous sidewalks, bulb-outs and streetlights. The corridor is also lined with more than 70 newly planted trees.
As part of the traffic calming and safety improvements, Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue was also reduced from four traffic lanes to a single lane in each direction. By reducing the traffic lanes DDOT was able to install raised landscaped medians and turn pockets to protect pedestrians and motorists, and to add bike lanes for safer cycling.
“Great streets are made by pulling together with the community to identify and implement the type of solutions that improve mobility and create a safe environment for all,” said Director Bellamy. “This is a great example of where we have been able to put that into practice.”
This project also includes multiple environmentally friendly and Low Impact Development (LID) features that were put in place to treat stormwater and help reduce the run-off of pollutants into Watts Branch and the Anacostia River. Amongst the LID facilities that were installed are four bioretention cells and 11 stormwater planters. Permeable concrete was also used to construct the sidewalks. The combination of environmentally friendly designs and LID features is reducing an estimated 12 percent of the total runoff from the project area. The environmental elements of the project were funded in part by a joint grant from the FWHA and the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Green Highway Partnership.
The Great Streets program is a partnership between DDOT, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (which catalyzes and supports private development), and OP (which sets the overall vision for the District’s six designated Great Streets corridors) that strategically targets major corridors in the city for infrastructure improvements. These improvements are aimed at fostering more livable communities, promoting economic development and improving mobility for residents. OP’s Deanwood Strategic Development Plan, completed in 2008, provided development guidance for key opportunity sites and recommendations to improve the opportunities to live, shop, play, work, and worship in the Deanwood community over a 10-year horizon. The Deanwood Plan included Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in its study area.
The total cost of the District’s Great Streets Initiative is $12.5 million, of which $9 million was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The remainder came from other local and federal sources.
“The completion of this project transforms Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue into a more pleasant and inviting streetscape for this community,” said Harriet Tregoning, Director of the D.C. Office of Planning (OP). “It also will create more opportunities for retailers along the avenue, such as restaurants and businesses providing local services.”
Work on the Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Great Streets Project began in November 2010.
More information about the Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Great Streets Project is available at www.NHBAvenueProject.com .