Sligo Creek Hiker/Biker Trail, Maryland National Capital Park & Planning, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, MD

stream bank restoration and rehabilitation of sewer trunk line within the stream valley

BH prepared a feasibility study, environmental assessment, and contract documents for the extension of the Hiker/Biker Trail in Sligo Creek Park. The study included an evaluation of the existing development plan, coinciding utility improvements program, and the development and evaluation of five alternative designs and their corresponding impacts on the floral, fauna, and aquatic resources.

BH prepared a recommendation on the basis of environmental affects, public safety and welfare concerns, and community and agency input. The contract included conducting a public walk-through and participating in several public presentations of the recommended alternative telecast on a Washington DC-area cable channel.

Construction documents were prepared for the 1.5-mile section covered by the feasibility study and the adjacent 1.6-mile segment within Prince George’s County. BH prepared construction plans for the hiker/biker trail and stream bank restoration including traffic separation, bridge and bridge footing design, modification of existing vehicular bridges to accommodate trail users, and road crossings. Stream bank restoration included the use of imbricated stone and native plants and grasses which will help to control erosion and also provide cover for aquatic wildlife. We also prepared construction plans for Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, incorporating all improvements into one construction contract in order to minimize construction disturbance in the park. The inclusion of the hiker/biker trail and the environmental mitigation measures to the sewer rehabilitation project is considered compensation to the community for the sewer construction impacts to the park land.

The contract documents included many provisions to control contractor activities and minimize impacts. Rob Bushnell, former Chief of Maryland Scenic and Wild Rivers Program, stated at a public hearing that Buchart Horn’s design for the Sligo Creek Hiker/Biker Trail “is very, very environmentally sensitive.” The Washington Area Bicycle Association, Anacostia Headwaters Greenway, and the Coalition for the Metropolitan Branch Trail are all supportive. The extension of the hiker/biker trail in Lower Sligo provides strategic trail links that further recreation and commuter uses and improve quality of life for a large area.