The Anacostia River Tunnel system, the first phase of the DC Clean Water Project, will be dedicated in a ceremony scheduled for Wednesday March 28 near Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Stadium, after snows delayed the original opening ceremony set for Thursday March 22.
The tunnel runs from the west side of the Anacostia River below RFK Stadium to the Blue Plains Advanced Treatment Plant. The tunnel has an interior diameter of 23 feet, a length of more than 7 miles and holds more than 100 million gallons.
Dignitaries including Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) Tommy Wells, Superintendent of National Capital Parks Tara Morrison and Former Executive Director of Groundwork Anacostia River Dennis Chestnut have been invited to make remarks.
The ceremony will include performances by the Eastern High School Marching Band and bluegrass group Jackson Flats. The public can view the drop shaft and see a Green Infrastructure model. Light refreshments including a reported 500 cupcakes will be served.
Originally, the Long-Term Control Plan for all three water bodies was to be completed by 2025. Now DC Water will have the Anacostia works in place three years early by 2022 and the work in the Potomac and Rock Creek watersheds by 2030. The opening of the Anacostia tunnel will reduce Anacostia combined sewer overflow, or CSO, by an estimated 81 percent; the remaining 17 percent will come from the Northeast Boundary tunnel and related barriers and sewer construction, a project currently underway in the Bloomingdale and Le Droit Park neighborhoods east of Howard University, to be completed by 2022.
The project also includes a new 225 million gallon-per-day Wet Weather Treatment Facility at Blue Plains. The Long-Term Control Plan estimates eventual CSO reductions to be 98 percent in the Anacostia and 96 percent overall (in the Rock Creek and the Potomac Rivers).
The Dedication Ceremony of the Anacostia Tunnel System takes place from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Enter the ceremony at 2600 Independence Avenue SE. Parking is available in RFK Stadium Lot 8.