I cross the 11th Street Bridge daily traveling to and from work. And although the experience is certainly more functional than enjoyable (except for the now-open local bridge with those awesome lookouts and wide pedestrian spans), it gets the job done simply and quite effectively. Fast forward to sometime in 2017, and that bridge will have become a world-class destination—and an incredible one at that—with lofty hopes of being a catalyst to bridge the many proverbial gaps between historic Anacostia/Far SE/SW and the tonier side of the river.

Specifically, the 11th Street Bridge Park project seeks to transform the unused span of the bridge into an active and vibrant world-class destination hanging over the Anacostia (bring it!).

Check out this description from the site:

As the old 11th Street river bridges that connect Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill and historic Anacostia neighborhoods are being replaced, the District government and THEARC will transform the aged infrastructure into the city’s first elevated park: a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts.

The 11th Street Bridge Park will span the capital’s cityscape and include outdoor performance spaces, playgrounds, fruit orchards, classrooms to teach students about river systems and even kayaks and paddle boats. Bound by the Washington Navy Yard on one side and the National Park Service’s Anacostia Park on the other, the Bridge Park will be a destination for some, a pedestrian or bicycle route for others and an iconic architectural symbol across the Anacostia River.

The 11th Street Bridge Park promises to be a place unlike any other in Washington, DC — one that supports the community’s physical, environmental and economic health. The community behind the 11th Street Bridge Park has four goals:

  • Create a healthy community by establishing a safe place for residents to exercise and play
  • Connect the community with the Anacostia River
  • Reconnect the neighborhoods of Anacostia and Capitol Hill
  • Generate new jobs and economic activity

Also, check out the overview video as well.