Original post, August 8:
Users of the popular Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT), the miles-long multiuse trail that runs from Union Station through parts of Northeast and continues toward Silver Spring, Maryland, will have to take a bit of a detour in Eckington beginning August 12 and likely lasting into November. Construction on a planned 2.5-acre park next to the trail will also entail improvements to the MBT, requiring a segment of the trail to be temporarily closed.
The detour runs from Randolph Place NE to Q Street NE. Pedestrians and cyclists will have to take 3rd Street NE and Harry Thomas Way NE to get back to the original trail. The design changes include widening the MBT, softening a sharp, Z-shaped turn that currently exists at R Street NE, establishing a new access point for the trail on Q Street NE, and installing new lights, signage, and bike racks. (The detour will feature flexible bollards to help protect trail users from car traffic.) The NoMa Parks Foundation and Forrester Construction are leading the park project, named Tanner Park after a formerly enslaved woman who resided in D.C.
The project is part of a larger initiative to bring more green space to NoMa, a historically industrial neighborhood that has seen a residential and office boom in recent years. The parcel where Tanner Park will go is directly south of a proposed mixed-use development.
Update, August 12:
Check out what the Metropolitan Branch Trail detour looks like from a cyclist’s perspective, courtesy of the following video posted Monday by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.