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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Park Authority finds money to replace pedestrian bridge



The trail between Murray Lane and Lockwood Lane where a new pedestrian bridge will be installed.

Fairfax County has found the money to replace the old, unsafe pedestrian bridge it removed in the Broyhill Crest neighborhood after all, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross informed residents.

On March 23, the county removed the bridge, which crosses a tiny stream, after determining it was in danger of collapsing. At that time Gross told residents that, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority, a replacement bridge would cost $80,000 and there was no money in the budget for a new one.

In an April 20 email to the Broyhill Crest community, Gross said she and Frank Vajda, the Mason representative on the Park Authority Board, continued to work with Park Authority staff on finding a way to replace the bridge. “Leaving the community bereft of a pedestrian crossing for a long period of time was unacceptable,” she says. 

“I am happy to report that the Park Authority came through, funding has been identified, and the order for a new fiberglass bridge has been placed,” she reports.

The prefabricated bridge is expected to be delivered in about four weeks, Gross says. “In the meantime, Park Authority maintenance staff will be working at the site to stabilize the stream banks and prepare for installation of bridge foundations prior to the placement of the new bridge.” The project should be completed in about six weeks. 

Gross estimates using park maintenance staff instead of contractors for some of the work will save about $20,000 but can't say what the final cost will be because “we dont know what problems they might run into.” The county will still have to hire contractors to install the piers and do some of the stream restoration work, she says.

Local residents who had complained about the unsafe bridge for years and urged the county to fix it had been disappointed that the county would simply remove it without any plans for replacing it.

22 comments:

  1. A special thanks to the Fourth Estate for helping to shed light on this and for helping to apply some pressure.

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    1. Hmmm,where did this money come from when it wasn't available just a few weeks ago?

      So glad for the community.

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  2. Yes, it is a seemingly small thing, but my family used that bridge often in our walks and I appreciate knowing the hows and whys of its removal. Plus the ugly barrier they put in when they removed the bridge really detracted from the neighborhood. What a relief that it will be fixed.
    Thanks Annandale blog!!

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  3. This is awesome news. Kudos to supervisor Gross for pulling through.

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  4. A big thank you to Rick Calstrom.

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  5. Kudos to anyone but Gross, whose negligence of her constituents was fully demonstrated in this recent folly of her governance.

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    1. Why should she do anything for constituents with attitudes like yours

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    2. Because it is her sworn obligation to promote the interest of her constituents. Unfortunate that it needs to be spelled out to you and her.

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  6. A bridge is undercut by floods, becomes unsafe, gets demolished, then rebuilt. How is that negligence?

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    1. They knew years ago that they needed a new bridge but never did anything. The neighbors had complained for years with no assistance until the bridge one day was just removed.

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    2. Perhaps if over half the county budget didn't go to schools to educate your kids, perhaps there would have been money sooner to replace the bridge.

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    3. Seniors suck up a lot of resources as well, anon 11:23. Which non-public-resource-using cohort are you a part of?

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    4. ^^ Thank you, 1:13. Well put.

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  7. It's over. Let's move on. I appreciate that there will be a new bridge, and give kudos to Penny.

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  8. Thank you Annandale Blog for raising awareness of this matter. The condition of these bridges is important to the community and it's important that the County uphold is fiduciary duty to maintain the parks. You have also provided a forum for the community "voice".

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  9. The county should begin selling off some of its unused park land so there will be money to repair walkways, etc. in parks that are actually being used. Some of these so-called parks are little more than large empty lots where even locals rarely venture. One example is the park at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Sleepy Hollow Road. I have yet to see anyone actually using that site.

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    1. Nooo! We don't need more infill housing. Green space is a huge community asset.

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    2. You have GOT to be sh!tting me. Are you blind? All I EVER see when I pass Mason District Park are roves of children playing soccer. Mason District is probably the MOST used park in our vicinity.

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    3. And if you are talking about tiny belvedere park - that is negligible space to sell off, and it is adjacent to a school, which works out well.

      ...Hey, why doesn't the county sell off all of its school property land? They'd make a killing off of it! You see acres of school ground, I see millions to be made off of the acreage!

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    4. When driving along Sleepy Hollow Rd. pay particular attention to the tree that's broken in half. You can clearly see it from the street. That's indicative of the lack of attention paid to this and too many other so-called parks in Fairfax. There's nothing parklike about them. They offer no amenities and no one visits them. It's time to cull these woodlots and spend the sale proceeds on something useful.

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    5. So take ever bit of green space and put concrete there. What a wonderful idea! We already have full front yards on Columbia Pike that are only concrete and look how great that looks.

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    6. The park at the corner of Sleepy Hollow and Columbia Pike, adjacent to Belvedere Elementary, has been adopted by the school itself. There's a trail from the school leading to an outdoor classroom where students from all grade levels actually learn about nature (and other topics) in *gasp* the outdoors. It's just one of the many facets of their environmental education program, which incorporates numerous academic subjects. With the help of the county, they also work on identifying and removing invasive species and plant natives there. Soooo sorry the K-1 classes didn't chop the tree up for you, 6:04.

      Think about the ever-dwindling green space in Northern VA. Do you think it's only of benefit to trash-spewing humans in cleats, or that an environment free of close-cropped and chemical-laden grass, invasive plants (read: genuine weeds), and useless, water-sucking ornamentals is a bad thing? Your appreciation for a REAL park is pretty limited. John Muir should rise up from the grave and slap your ignorant, synthetic, selfish, face. You don't deserve a park, pal.

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