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History of Alexandria | City Planning | Neighborhood Development | Neighborhood Parks | Watergate Projects

 

 

New Development

Overview
Giant/ABC Site
2nd Street Green Project
Power Plant Site
Old Colony Inn Site
National Airport North
Metro Bus Barn Site
Travel Lodge Motel Site
The Towns at 1333
Powhatan Potomac Yard
Mount Vernon Trail
Robinson Terminal North
Robinson Terminal South
Old Dominion Boat Club
The Thornton
Hoffman Town Center
Landmark Mall
Potomac Yard Metro
Alexandria Sewer
Craddock/Smoot Lumber
Potomac Yard

Redevelopment

Montgomery Street
Crowne Plaza
Waterfront Center
Holiday Inn
Beach Drive

Park Development

Montgomery Park
Windmill Hill Park
Jones Point Park
Potomac Yard Park

Completed Projects

National Airport South
Canal Center Plaza

 

Windmill Hill Park/Shipyard Park Shoreline Rehabilitation

The city has begun preliminary work on a major construction project to replace the existing man-made bulkhead at historic Windmill Hill Park/Shipyard Park (outlined in turquoise in the aerial view at top of page) with a natural shoreline, walking path and small connecting bridge (see diagram to the left).  The park was created in 1945 on marshland that had been reclaimed in the 19th century.  It is named after a wind-powered water mill that occupied the site in the 1840s.

The 3.4-acre park, which split into several disconnected pieces as it evolved over the years, lies between the Harborside and Fords Landing communities at the southernmost end of Union Street.  It offers a basketball court, a volleyball pit, a children's playground, a picnic area, a yacht basin, an unfenced dog-exercise area, and walking paths.

In recent years, ecologists and other scientists have voiced concerns about solid retaining walls that urban development has brought to our waterfronts to protect against erosion and rising sea levels.  These barriers can seriously damage the environment by interfering with the natural development of marshes and by uprooting plants that young fish, crabs and other organisms use for food and shelter.  The shoreline rehabilitation project aims to return the river's edge along the park to a more natural state and reconnect the northeastern and southeastern parts of the park.

In the spring of 2016, the city removed a number of mature trees at the park in preparation for construction, which was scheduled to begin in late summer 2016.  Alas, in the fall of 2016, a contract dispute arose between the city and its putative contractor regarding the cost and scope of the planned work, resulting in the contractor filing a lawsuit against the city.  The parties eventually agreed that the contractor would dismiss its lawsuit and the city would resolicit bids for the project.

The city awarded a new contract in early 2017.  Construction began in May 2017, and should take about 12 months to complete.  Nearby homeowners are unexpectedly enjoying the park and its unobstructed views with the trees removed, and have now requested fewer replacement trees than originally planned.

The panoramic photo at top right shows a view of the park and the river from the top of the hill along South Lee Street.  The photos assembled below show a view from Fords Landing looking west and north toward the park.  The photo above right shows the existing seawall that will be replaced.  The diagram to the right shows the improvements that are now underway at the site.

 

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