Construction of a new two-mile section of the bicycle trail along the George Washington Memorial Park-way south of Alexandria was set to start again this week, following last week's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, according to the National Park Service.
The new route, which will take bicyclists off several small county roads and put them on a paved bike path entirely on Park Service land along the parkway, was blocked in U.S. District Court here last January in a suit brought by local citizen groups.
Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. dismissed the suit in March but held up construction until his decision could be appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Bryan's dismissal of the suit. The civic groups contended both the existing route and the new route - which will still cross several county roads that feed onto the parkway - are safety hazards for the more than 200,000 bicyclists who use the trail each year.
The Park Service argued that the new section would be safer and more scenic. Construction of the $350,000 section of the paved trail, including several wooden bridges over hollows and streams, is expected to be completed in about two months, according to the Park Service.