(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Bowser today cut the ribbon on the new Oxon Run Trail which connects from South Capitol Street, SE to 13th Street, SE. The ribbon-cutting took place before the Frederick Douglass 5K, which was part of the Bowser Administration’s weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth. Earlier this week, the Mayor broke ground on the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, the largest infrastructure project in the District Department of Transportation’s history.
“This trail provides direct access to the Oxon Run Park and improves access to destinations throughout Southeast,” said Mayor Bowser. “With this new trail and all that comes with it, we are building a safer, stronger, and more sustainable DC.”
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) launched the Oxon Run Trail project in 2016 with the goal of bridging gaps in the city’s trail network. The project included rehabbing the existing trail as well as constructing a new trail. The result is a 3.4 mile trail with 208 LED dark-sky friendly streetlights, new benches, tables, and rest areas, and a new Capital Bikeshare station.
Through the Oxon Run Green Streets Project, a demonstration of the potential to integrate green infrastructure into parks and open spaces to treat stormwater on a large scale, DDOT installed ten stormwater bioretention cells along the Oxon Run Trail. Roadway runoff from the surrounding streets that would otherwise drain directly into Oxon Run is now being diverted into these bioretention cells. In addition, the Oxon Run Green Street Project was executed as part of a larger trail enhancement project that included pervious paving and tree planting so that the entire project retains over 263,000 gallons of stormwater during a 1.2 inch storm event.
“The Oxon Run Green Streets Project demonstrates how we can integrate green infrastructure into parks and open spaces to manage stormwater on a larger scale,” said Director of the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Tommy Wells. “This is just one of the many innovative ways DC is incorporating sustainability into everyday life, as we work to restore and protect our rivers and waterways, ensuring a healthy and vibrant environment for generations to come.”
The bioretention portion of the project was funded through the federal Clean Water Construction grant, the Sustainable DC grant, and DOEE Stormwater Enterprise funds.
“All of us at the FHWA are pleased to have helped DDOT deliver the Oxon Run Trail,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “Its bicycle, pedestrian and recreational park access – as well as the nature trail connection – will improve the quality of life in the nation’s capital.”
At the event, community members helped the Mayor plant an English Elm tree, the same species that shaded Frederick Douglass during some of his historic speeches of the 1870s. The planting was made possible through a partnership between DOEE and the Green Corps, a training program that connects local residents with their natural world by providing a city-wide gateway to 50 different green career tracks in ecosystem and watershed restoration.
Since taking office, Mayor Bowser has prioritized the development of accessible and safe multi-modal transit routes. In November, DDOT started construction on the next phase of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which will connect the existing trail from John McCormack Drive in Brookland to the Fort Totten Metro Station and is expected to be complete the project in the next 18 months. The new trail segment will provide a direct off-street route for bicyclists and pedestrians traveling through the Fort Totten area. Currently, the District has more than 145 miles of bike lanes and trails throughout the city, 60 of which are trails.
To learn more about trails throughout Washington, DC, visit ddot.dc.gov/page/bicycle-maps.