CFA 17/NOV/16-3


Multi-use trails from M Street to Broad Branch Road and Arkansas Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
United States

National Park Service
Rock Creek Park/Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway
New pedestrian bridge over Rock Creek
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Vogel:

In its meeting of 17 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a final design submission for a new pedestrian bridge over Rock Creek, within the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway near the south portal of the Beach Drive tunnel. The Commission reiterated its support for the proposal and approved the submission with the condition that the following two design issues be resolved in consultation with the staff.

The Commission members acknowledged the project goal of improving visibility at the intersection of the multi-use paths at the south end of the tunnel, but they did not support the proposed solution of constructing an extension of the existing stone portal wall. They advised that the design team develop a solution with the least possible impact on the character and topography of the existing condition, and that this design problem be studied intensively in section. They recommended that a single, low, rustic retaining wall be constructed to define the edge of the path in a widened arc and to accommodate some of the grade transition, perhaps in combination with a series of salvaged natural stone boulders to stabilize the grade farther up the hill. They also suggested that the use of visual or tactile warnings on the paths themselves could reduce the need for extensive earthworks.

The second condition identified by the Commission members for resolution is the transition from the typical wooden park railing, proposed for the southeastern approach ramp of the bridge, to the cable railing proposed for the bridge span itself. They encouraged designing this detail with the same attention given to the connection of the arching bridge beam to the masonry abutment.

The Commission looks forward to the completion of this important park project. For the resolution of the design of the two areas identified above, please consult with the staff, which is available to assist you as always.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Robert Vogel, Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242

cc: Steve Zeender, Stantec
Zahra Dorriz, D.C. Department of Transportation