Norton Receives Progress Report on Rock Creek Park Trail Project
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) received a response earlier this month to a letter she sent to the National Park Service (NPS) requesting a progress report on the status of the Rock Creek Park trail project and its Environmental Assessment (EA), as well as a timeline for next steps in the process. Norton warned that federal funding, which has been dedicated to this project, could be lost if it is not obligated by the end of 2015. In the response, NPS said that the EA is currently with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for review, and once FHWA signs a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), the District can move forward to complete the trail. The response notes that this is expected to occur in the “near future.” NPS is also required to draft a FONSI, which is expected to be signed this summer. Norton wrote the letter because of excessive delay. NPS released its draft EA in December 2011 with a 30-day public comment period, but there is still no final EA.
“The NPS response and information were much appreciated,” said Norton. “NPS and FHWA must now work expeditiously to allow the long-delayed project to get underway and be completed.”
When Norton sent her letter on March 6, more than 2,400 people, most of whom are D.C. residents, had signed a Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) petition requesting that the Rock Creek Park trail be repaved and rehabilitated as soon as possible. NPS’s response noted a March 7 meeting in which NPS, the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Norton’s staff met with WABA, and where all parties agreed that improved communication by NPS and DDOT with the public, WABA and Norton’s office was critical to meeting expectations about progress being made towards completion of the project.
Published: April 7, 2014