Long Bridge Park features three fully lit, full-size, multi-sport, synthetic-grass fields; a network of walkways; an overlook at the north end with views of U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument; a “wave arbor” public art feature; and a three-quarter acre rain garden that directs runoff from the park’s sports fields and parking lot into a planted garden of native shrubs and perennials. The park also offers picnic areas, interpretive displays and restrooms.
The project covers 32 acres and the parks unifying feature is the half-mile long Esplanade. The Esplanade is an elevated public space that runs parallel to the adjacent railroad tracks. Park visitors can stroll, bike, watch trains and airplanes or simply relax while enjoying amazing views of the Potomac River and Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary while on the Esplanade.
From the 1940’s through the 1990’s this area known as “North Tract” was used for heavy industry. This prior use created challenges with the soil which had become contaminated over the years. On site soil cleaning and treating was an ongoing process during the entire project. This created challenges for scheduling the work and excavation to install all on the necessary electrical infrastructure. This infrastructure brought power to the Esplanade all three multi-sports fields and all of the various walk ways and paths. In conjunction with the creation of the park, Old Jefferson Davis Highway had to be completely renovated to add street lighting and bus shelters. This work also had its challenges as local traffic could not be re-routed during the renovation process. The process required one lane to be shut down and that side of the road was renovated and then the process was repeated for the other side. In addition with the parks location very close to the Pentagon all existing underground conduits had to remain in place and could not be disturbed. We did not have any un-planed utility outages during the entire construction process. Quite a feat given the fact that we installed over 7 miles of underground conduits and installed over 35 miles of electrical cable during the course of the project, the lighting for the project is state of the art outdoor lighting; the filed lighting itself provided by MUSCO is the same lighting found in most of today’s professional sports stadiums. The installation of the MUSCO lighting required exact layout long before the fields were installed, concrete dowels were installed into special concrete footings and the poles and lights installed prior to installation of the fields.
Overall the project was completed as scheduled with one minor adjustment to the project schedule to allow for the complete renovation of Old Jefferson Davis Highway now renamed Long Bridge Drive.