The Washington Post

Park Service to hold public meeting on Tidal Basin sea wall repair project

- BY MICHAEL E. RUANE

The National Park Service will host a virtual public meeting Tuesday to review the environmen­tal impact of the proposed project to repair the sinking sea wall around Washington’s historic Tidal Basin.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., and instructio­ns for participat­ion are available online.

The Park Service said it will present an overview of the project and answer questions.

The agency is proposing a massive project to restore 6,800 feet of sea wall around the Tidal Basin and in West Potomac Park, and re-landscape the shoreline.

A $5.7 million contract has been awarded to begin the planning.

The basin, which dates back more than a century, is a beloved focus of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, when it is crowded with people who gather to view and photograph the blooming cherry trees.

The basin is also the site of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which draw visitors year-round.

But parts of the sea wall have been sinking for years, and the structure and its walkway are often submerged by tidal inundation­s. In some places, the wall has settled as much as four feet since it was rebuilt in the 1930s and ’40s, the Park Service said.

A decade ago, the agency spent more than $12 million to fix the sea wall in front of the Jefferson Memorial, where it was slipping away and sinking into the mud.

That section was believed to have failed because it was built on a foundation of wooden pilings that were not long enough to reach bedrock. The old foundation was replaced with concrete pilings and caissons resting on bedrock.

A contract to design and execute the project will be awarded next year or in early 2024, the Park Service said.

 ?? MATT Mcclain/the Washington POST ?? The Tidal Basin, set beside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, dates back more than a century and is a focus of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
MATT Mcclain/the Washington POST The Tidal Basin, set beside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, dates back more than a century and is a focus of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

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