Morning runs and late night strolls to the monuments may soon become more scenic, as construction on a pathway connecting the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts and the Potomac riverfront is set to begin later this year, according to the Foggy Bottom Association website.
The design calls for a pedestrian bridge extending over Rock Creek Parkway that will provide direct access to the terrace of the Kennedy Center from the Rock Creek Trail. There are currently no crosswalks connecting the center to the riverfront.
The proposed footbridge is the culmination of almost 10 years of planning by the Federal Highway Administration. In 2002, the Kennedy Center joined with the FHA in an effort to improve accessibility, according to a FHA press release. One of the main problems identified was the lack of a direct connection between the Potomac riverfront and the center.
“The John F. Kennedy Center is the national cultural center,” Norman Y. Mineta, then transportation secretary, said in a FHA 2002 press release. “As good neighbors, we are pleased to work with the community in developing plans to reconnect the people with this living memorial.”
Some students said that they are looking forward to the proposed connection. Ed Walczak (COL ‘14) has run along the riverfront on occasion and has noticed the problem of direct access to the Kennedy Center.
“It is really hard to try to cross the highway [from the trail],” Walczak said.
The exact price tag of the project has yet to be determined. Jack Van Dop, a senior technical specialist for the FHA, told The George Washington University Hatchet, stating that the majority of funding will come from the federal government, with a small portion coming from the District.