Construction Progress at Long Bridge Park

by ARLnow.com September 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm 6,586 31 Comments

(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) When we last visited the site of the future Long Bridge Park in March, it was still a vast expanse of dirt and construction equipment. Now, the park, on Old Jefferson Davis Highway near Crystal City, is a vast expanse of dirt, construction equipment and artificial turf.

The Sun Gazette reports today that the park is “definitely” on track to open at some point this fall, according to County Manager Barbara Donnellan.

When it does open, the $50 million $31 million first phase of the park will feature lighted multipurpose athletic fields, concession stands, picnic areas, a rain garden, a lush esplanade and a public plaza. Just don’t expect much tranquility — every few minutes the roar of planes landing at Reagan National Airport, and occasionally the whistle of trains passing by the eastern end of the park, interrupts any momentary sense of being away from the bustle of the surrounding area.

A second phase, expected to begin construction in 2013, will feature a large new aquatics, health and fitness facility (see renderings here and here). Expected sooner: a much-needed repaving, and possible renaming, of Old Jefferson Davis Highway.

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    How much parking will there be?

    • cj

      For this first phase, 185 spaces in a surface lot between two fields, plus about 130 more on the street starting next spring when reconstruction of the road is finished.

  • The Dope of South Arlington

    Fifty million dollars for illegals to have a place to play soccer? OMG.

    • Many illegals are usually squatters. If the county can book the fields to legit teams and residents, the illegals must give them up. I recall a time or two in recent memory when I’ve been at a match at Gunston and cops had to be called because players squatting on the field would not leave to let the permit holders use it.

      • Ed

        Every single time this has happened to me, when I have held a permit, I have approached the pick-up teams politely, told them that my youth team has a practice or game, and said “Thanks, gentlemen,” when they left; and I have never, ever had a problem.

        It could all be in the attitude and approach, Overgrown.

        You may note how I call them “pick-up” teams rather than your less polite choices, for one thing.

  • Westover

    I sure they do not rename Old Jefferson Davis Highway! Save our street names!

    • ClarendonBound

      Not a big fan of streets named after traitors.

      • MommieBeerest

        Why? MLK BLvds are all over the place

        • Vik

          What do Jefferson Davis and MLK have to do with each other?

          • Joke Briefer

            I believe he was using contrasting personae and applying the same label to them in an ironic attempt to point out that one man’s traitor is another man’s hero.

            Just a guess.

          • Vik

            I thought that might be the case, but gave MommieBeerest the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t that dumb.

          • Josh S

            Yeah, but in what sense could MLK be considered a traitor?

            The “one man’s X is another man’s Y” thing really can only go so far. We don’t have to allow that kind of relativist thinking in public discourse.

            And I think that the only people who might legitmately have claimed that Jefferson Davis were a hero and not a traitor to them are all dead.

        • Smilla

          Wow — you really consider MLK to be a “traitor”? On what grounds? Or are you simply trolling?

          I’m with ClarendonBound. They can’t change Rte. 1’s formal name fast enough.

      • Arlington, Northside

        For better or worse, it is part of OUR history. Keep the name.
        Lenin and Stalin tried to erase history of those in the past he disagreed with.

        • Michael H.

          They aren’t renaming Rte. 1/JDH. They are renaming Old JDH only. Rte. 1 will still carry the name Jefferson Davis Highway.

        • drax

          Yet there is an objective definition of traitor, so only one man is actually right.

        • drax

          Slavery was part of our history too.

          Screw Jefferson Davis and screw his road. He can be history in history books (accurate ones, not the crappy ones Virginia used for fourth grade recently).

          • SamsontheCat

            Isn’t there a rule that gay history has to be taught in schools? I propose changing Old JDH to Gay JDH.

          • Vinh An Nguyen

            In Virginia? Are you kidding?

          • SamsontheCat

            Haha. It would be fun to watch people’s heads explode.

    • Michael H.

      They will probably name that road simply because it’s confusing. Jefferson Davis Highway is located right by Old JDH. Rte. 1 isn’t going to have a new name, but Old JDH will. The county is already considering South Clark Street and Fort Runyon Drive.

  • Ren

    How is field usage determined/allocated? I know of many Arlington residents who are tired of driving to Montgomery County to play on the fields there because there are no fields available in Arlington. (Yes, we pay taxes and we pay fees for the fields we use too.)

    • Josh S

      I believe that most fields that can be reserved have a sign on a fence somewhere that contains the phone number. I assume it’s the county Parks Department. I’ve never done it myself but I assume it’s first come, first served and I don’t think there is a fee, but I may be wrong about that.

  • CW

    Wow, the snark level in this article is very high.

    • UnlimitedCustoms

      Will someone think of the dogs?

  • Oldtimer

    “… I know of many Arlington residents who are tired of driving to Montgomery County to play on the fields there because there are no fields available in Arlington…”

    Back in my day….Oh, forget it.

    • LyonSteve

      There could be many ways you are going with this…

  • ArlintonCountyTaxpayer

    Where will the trolley stop be for this park?

    • Richard Cranium

      At the slip-lane, adjacent to the newly commissioned “Dr. Dremos Kid-Free Dog Park.”

  • Michael H.

    They have made progress on the raised esplanade too. The stone work is largely in place and the entrance has been paved with asphalt. The stone staircases seem to be in place throughout the park. I don’t know how fast they can add sod in the areas apart from the fields.

    I think it’s 50/50 whether they can finish by the end of October. They might be able to finish most of the park. Then they would continue to do detail work into November, similar to the process at the Humpback Bridge.

  • Jskin

    Why the pessimistic tone? It’s a civic gathering place for crying out loud…that happens to be replacing a sketchy ‘hood. As for the airplanes…no one cares…they fly over Arlington Cemetary & Iwo Jima all day…seems pretty serene there. Not to mention people actually hang out at Gravelly Point for that very purpose. But that’s all beside the point…instead of moaning about a new civic center and the people that most likely will take advantage of it or how much parking it has, why don’t you grab a few friends, hop on a bike and take advantage of it yourself.


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