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Thread: Long Bridge Project - Meeting *tonight in DC* 11/29/18 4:30 and 6:00 pm

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    Default Long Bridge Project - Meeting *tonight in DC* 11/29/18 4:30 and 6:00 pm

    When: Today, Thurs. 11/29/18
    Open House format from 4PM to 7PM
    Formal presentations at 4:30PM and 6:00PM (same presentation at both times)
    Where: DC Dept of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Bldg.
    1100 4th St. SW Room E200
    Wash, DC
    What: Long Bridge Project Public Meeting

    As I understand it, there's a *possibility* we can have a bike/pedestrian trail across the Potomac as a component to the Long Bridge improvement project.

    In the letter by WABA and 14 partner org's (see link below) re the project, they requested:
    "the project:

    1.Include a bicycle and pedestrian trail across the Potomac River.
    This bicycle and pedestrian trail should be funded and constructed concurrently with the rail component of the Long Bridge project.
    2. The bicycle and pedestrian trail should be incorporated into the design of the broader project in a way that optimizes the achievability of the project with regard to cost and complexity.
    ...there's much more.

    From the GGWash. post re the event tonight:

    The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) invite the public to an informational meeting to present the Preferred Alternative for the Long Bridge Project. FRA and DDOT are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for the Project to consider alternatives and evaluate the potential impacts of those alternatives on the environment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. This meeting is also a part of the concurrent consultation for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    About the Long Bridge Project: The Long Bridge Project consists of potential improvements to the bridge corridor and related railroad infrastructure located between the RO Interlocking near Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Virginia and the L’Enfant Interlocking near 10th Street SW in Washington, DC. The Long Bridge Corridor is owned and operated by CSX Transportation (CSXT), a Class I freight railroad. Amtrak and VRE currently use the bridge, in addition to CSXT freight.

    The purpose of the Project is to provide additional long-term railroad capacity to improve the reliability of railroad service through the Long Bridge Corridor. Currently, there is insufficient capacity, resiliency, and redundancy to accommodate the projected demand in future rail services. The Project is needed to address these issues and to ensure the Long Bridge Corridor continues to serve as a critical link connecting the local, regional, and national railroad network.

    Here's a link to the WABA blog post re same:
    https://www.waba.org/blog/2018/11/th...t-it-could-be/

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    Also here's a link to the project website; you can also email them or post comments through the website:

    http://longbridgeproject.com/#

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    Sharing some notes from the Long Bridge meeting from Rails to Trails. I sadly was not able to attend because I was traveling for work. The Friends of the Mt. Vernon Trail (which I'm an organizing member of) and Alexandria BPAC (which I'm a member of) signed on to a letter of support along with multiple other organizations signed on to a letter of support for a ped/bike bridge ahead of the meeting.

    Information from the meeting is located here: http://longbridgeproject.com/past-meetings/


    From Rails to Trails:
    - We had a very good showing of advocates. The 4:30 presentation was packed full with many advocates/members of the public standing in the back, holding newly made Long Bridge support signs. Everybody seemed to love them (some people wanted extras to take selfies with them, and even some of the agency officials wanted signs.) More advocates trickled in at the 6:00 presentation and all in all, a good showing of support.
    - DDOT and FRA announced that their plans are to keep the existing Long Bridge (which is apparently in good condition despite the rust—it just doesn’t have enough track capacity), build a second rail bridge, and also build a separate trail bridge. From North to South, the order will be: WMATA bridge, bike/ped bridge, new rail bridge, existing Long Bridge.
    - To build the rail bridge, they have to disturb NPS land. An old law (older than NEPA) says they have to mitigate that disturbance. DDOT, FRA, and NPS have all agreed that building a bike/ped bridge is an appropriate mitigation. No other alternative mitigation actions have been discussed. (So more-or-less the rail bridge can’t happen without the trail bridge)
    - The preferred trail bridge option is to have it be separate from the rail bridge.

    - So what’s left? Personally, I still have concerns about funding and phasing, and full connectivity.
    Funding - Funding hasn’t been committed and no agreements have been reached about who will pay for what or who will maintain what long term. This relates to…
    Phasing – I worry that, in a worst case scenario, they build the rail bridge first and then take another 5-10 years to build the trail bridge. As I see it, efforts would be needed to advocate for officials to find funding for the rail bridge and the trail bridge, and generally keep up some support to ensure that they are built concurrently.
    Connectivity – On the Arlington side, the trail bridge will connect to the esplanade at Long Bridge Park, but it won’t connect all the way to the SW waterfront. DDOT and FRA have said that the space is too narrow on the DC side to accommodate the new rail tracks and the bike/ped bridge. The bridge will therefore end at Ohio Drive SW (see slide 27). Personally, in my mind, whether it’s a bridge connection to DC or an appropriate protected facility on the road, etc., something needs to be done to complete the connectivity.

    The slides from the meeting can be found at http://longbridgeproject.com/past-meetings/ —you’ll see next steps and timeline at the end. All in all, it was good news from DDOT last night but as advocates, still more to be done to follow this through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Connectivity – On the Arlington side, the trail bridge will connect to the esplanade at Long Bridge Park, but it won’t connect all the way to the SW waterfront. DDOT and FRA have said that the space is too narrow on the DC side to accommodate the new rail tracks and the bike/ped bridge. The bridge will therefore end at Ohio Drive SW (see slide 27). Personally, in my mind, whether it’s a bridge connection to DC or an appropriate protected facility on the road, etc., something needs to be done to complete the connectivity.
    Seems like a Case Bridge connection could be relatively straightforward. Things don't get too squeezy until NPS HQ. Yellow would be new bridge/trail, green is existing Case Bridge sidepath to Banneker Circle.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    Seems like a Case Bridge connection could be relatively straightforward. Things don't get too squeezy until NPS HQ. Yellow would be new bridge/trail, green is existing Case Bridge sidepath to Banneker Circle.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Unfortunately, by having the bike/ped bridge upstream (so between the rail bridge and Metro bridge), doesn't it complicate that connection a bit since you have to somehow cross the train tracks?

    In any event, I'm hoping that a certain big company moving to VA will help convince the state to spur this along the right way (especially since CSX seems to imply in the presentation that they're fine with it how it is for their needs...it's VRE/Amtrak that need the capacity...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    Unfortunately, by having the bike/ped bridge upstream (so between the rail bridge and Metro bridge), doesn't it complicate that connection a bit since you have to somehow cross the train tracks?
    Indeed. Simplifies the connection to Long Bridge Park, but complicates any potential connection to Case Bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    Unfortunately, by having the bike/ped bridge upstream (so between the rail bridge and Metro bridge), doesn't it complicate that connection a bit since you have to somehow cross the train tracks?
    It seems like you could run the bike bridge under the train tracks to cross to the other side. That wouldn't be that complex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    It seems like you could run the bike bridge under the train tracks to cross to the other side. That wouldn't be that complex.
    Since the preferred alternative maintains the current Long Bridge, I'm guessing they're not intending on rebuilding the bridge segment over Ohio Drive either. With only 12.5 feet of clearance there, I think more likely would be a "grade level" path to connect to the Case Bridge that is better than cutting through the parking lot (e.g., something that follows more closely the track chris_s drew, though there are the off-ramp/on-ramp crossings to deal with as well).

    Click image for larger version. 

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