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Anacostia River trail system moves toward completion

The four-mile segment unveiled Monday is a key link in the regional trail system. (Anacostia Waterfront Initiative)

Plans are moving forward to complete a 60-mile system of trails along the Anacostia River and its tributaries, with local and federal officials today unveiling designs for a key four-mile segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail mainly in Northeast Washington.

The new segment will extend the existing Riverwalk Trail, which starts near the mouth of the Anacostia at Nationals Park and continues north to Benning Road near RFK Stadium. The new stretch will move north from Benning Road past the now-closed Pepco power plant and Anacostia Park and through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and will connect to Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County and Maryland’s 40-plus-mile system of trails along the river’s tributaries.

The design has the route meandering on sidewalks along the edge of the Kenilworth Parkside and Mayfair neighborhoods before entering onto 10- to 12-foot-wide asphalt, concrete and boardwalk trails though the Aquatic Gardens, passing under U.S. 50 and the Amtrak Northeast Corridor and over several tributaries such as Watts Branch and Beaverdam Creek.

Two-thirds of the $15 million in funding is coming from a federal transportation grant; the District is kicking in $3.5 million, while Maryland has committed $1.5 million. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the spring, with completion expected in fall 2014.

Here are some pretty pictures: