(Updated 3:25 p.m.) After years of planning, Arlington County is ready to put money into the planned renovation of Benjamin Banneker Park.
The 12.5 acres park at 1680 N. Sycamore Street features the head for the Four Mile Run Trail and a section of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, as well as a dog park.
Plans to renovate the park have been in the works for years, capped by the recent acquisition of “the last three properties along 18th Street North” needed for an expansion of the park, according to a county staff report. In 2017, the County Board approved a long-term vision which included replaced amenities and trail improvements.
The County Board is set to approve a $2.6 million contract — which includes $238,554 as a contingency for changes — at the Saturday (Sept. 21) meeting.
The project is funded in part by $2.5 million set aside in the 2015 fiscal year for the park and an additional $750,000 for work on the trails from the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Trail Modernization Program, according to the staff report. The park is expected to have a $117,659 increase in operating costs as a result of the improvements.
Planned work for the park at the western edge of Arlington include a widening of the trails and replacement of:
- The parking lot
- Picnic area
- Rectangular athletic field
- Stormwater management
- The dog park
The staff report for the park improvements noted that most of the feedback was positive, but concerns were expressed about the permeability of the trails and the impact widening the trails from eight feet to 12 feet might have on the surrounding environment.
The report notes, however, that county staff is promising “extra attention to minimize impacts on the stream and Resource Protection Area through site appropriate and sensitive erosion and sediment control methods.”
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