WASHINGTON – The National Park Service today announced the start of the second phase of turf restoration along the National Mall, which will take place between 7th and 12th Streets. For the duration of the work, expected to last up to18 months, the grass panels along the Mall between Jefferson Drive and Madison Drive will be closed to pedestrian traffic, as will the walkways crosscutting the Mall. The sidewalks along Madison and Jefferson Drive will remain open.
This closure continues the turf restoration project previously completed between 3rd Street and 7th Street. The new work includes excavation and removal of 4-5’ of damaged soil; installation of irrigation drainage and a 250,000 gallon cistern to collect and allow reuse of storm water; installation of a compaction-resistant engineered soil, similar in composition and quality to that found on athletic fields; regarding the panels to improve drainage, and sodding with advanced varieties of tall fescue and bluegrass.
“As one of the most important civic spaces in the world, it is important that this restoration work not only enhances the beauty of the National Mall, but also allows its continued use as a gathering place for the American people,” said Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. “As we move forward with the second phase of the project, we look forward to continuing the successful rejuvenation of the Mall accomplished during the first phase.”
Eventually, the turf will be restored the entire length of the Mall to 14th Street. The turf restoration will help reduce further wear and tear on the Mall as visitation grows from 25 million annually to an expected 42 million in next 20 years.
The turf restoration is part of the larger National Mall Plan which was implemented in 2010 after a thorough public comment process. As part of the multi-phase plan to revitalize the National Mall, the National Park Service has completed a number of projects, including the restoration of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, repair of the Tidal Basin seawall at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and restoration of the D.C. War Memorial.