The boardwalk project in Woodbridge is moving forward.
To connect Rippon Landing Community Park to the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve, the three-quarter mile long, 10-foot wide boardwalk is being built, according to a release.
Prince William County Trails Planner Ryan Delaney said that the boardwalk is going to become part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which is part of a national trail system maintained by the National Park Service.
“It’s not like a single trail – like the Appalachian Trail – it’s a series of routes along the Potomac River Watershed,” Delaney said of the scenic trail.
According to Delaney, the boardwalk will be one of the major linkages in a 28-mile stretch of trail that’s planned for the county.
“We’re calling it a boardwalk because it’s relatively low to the water, but it crosses Neabsco Creek, so it is a water crossing. Portions of it are boardwalk along the marshes,” said Delaney.
Initial planning for the boardwalk started back in 2010, but was stalled as the county gathered community support and worked through some environmental design challenges.
“All of that time [in between] was spent designing this. Because it’s an environmentally sensitive area, because there have been some changes to the structure of the boardwalk…this is a really great resource from a variety of standpoints, not just a bridge on a trail, so the design has shifted slightly over the years,” said Delaney.
At a recent Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting, the board approved a contract award of $3.8 million to company Nature Bridges, and an additional $365,000 to Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects to work on the project.
According to a release, money for the boardwalk project will come from the county’s Capital Improvement Project (CIP) fund.
Timeline for construction on the project is estimated at 18-months, in large part because of environmental requirements, which mean crews will have to build the boardwalk in sections top-down, said Delaney.