D.C.’s planned 11th Street Bridge Park won’t be completed until at least 2019, the director of the group spearheading the project said on Friday.
The proposed plan, which will convert the old 11th Street Bridge into a park with performance spaces, playgrounds, and pedestrian and bike routes, has drawn comparisons to Manhattan’s High Line in terms of scope and potential influence on the surrounding neighborhoods.
In an “equitable development plan” released last November, the proposed project was said to be “scheduled to open by late 2018.” Now, the opening will “most likely be in late 2019,” says Scott Kratz, director of the 11th Street Bridge Project. “The contracting and procurement and all of that stuff is taking a little longer than we thought, like most of these things do.”
Kratz’s assessment comes after the release of the D.C. Department of Transportation’s latest performance oversight documents, which highlight several potential obstacles the bridge park could face.
“Based upon the current concept design, DDOT estimates the bridge park will cost $45 million. This estimate assumes the structural integrity of the existing piers,” the document says. The bridge project is being funded by the District government and Building Bridges Across The River, a nonprofit based in Ward 8.
In the next few months, DDOT and Kratz’s group are preparing to launch a feasibility study to determine, in part, if the existing bridge structures in the Anacostia River are safe to begin building on. If the study determines that the old pier infrastructure is not acceptable to use, however, construction costs could jump an additional $10 to $15 million, according to the oversight documents.
The park developers expect the old structures to be sound. “We’re confident that those are in good shape,” Kratz said. So far, the project has raised a little over $11 million of their expected $35 million construction costs. An additional $10 million will be used as an endowment to operate the park.
“We have the funding that we need to do the feasibility work, so that’s not holding us back,” Kratz says. He expects the remaining funds will be raised by the beginning of construction, now set for late 2017.
Rendering via OMA + OLIN Design