Thousands of people have enjoyed to new Georgetown Waterfront park since it was opened in the summer of 2008. Originally, the second half of this great park (dubbed “Phase II”) was supposed to be complete by this winter. However, keen observers likely have noticed a profound lack of activity at the construction site recently. The cause of this delay was a series of unforeseen challenges that broke the project’s budget. Thanks to some recent Council action, however, the project appears back on track.
Courtesy of the National Parks Service
As GM discussed a while back, Phase II of the park will incorporate several elements including a water feature, a pergola, and stadium seating for crew races. Construction began late 2008 and was expected to last two years.
As mentioned above, the construction has run into several unforeseen challenges. These challenges were recently described in a letter from Bob vom Eigen, President of the Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park, to the group’s supporters. Firstly, the contractors discovered large amount of unknown debris in the ground left over from the long-demolished Capital Traction Company powerhouse that once stood and the foot of Wisconsin Ave.:
Additional cost overruns came from a miscommunication between Pepco and the project’s designers over the infrastructure requirements of the new water feature.
As a result of these problems, an additional $2.2 million was needed above the original budget to complete the project. As he reported to the ANC this month, Jack Evans secured $950,000 in the budget for the park, which will be matched by NPS. While the project’s planners hope to secure some financial support from Pepco, the bulk of the remaining needed money will have to come from the public.
The amount needed from the public stands right now at $150,000. If you’d like to donate money to help finish this wonderful project, click here.
According to Evans, the new target completion date is early to mid 2011.