National Park Service Preparing To Repave Drives of Civil War Era Fort Dupont And Fort Davis
By NPT Staff on September 5th, 2018
The National Park Service has cleared the last major hurdle before beginning a $4 million rehabilitation of Fort Dupont and Fort Davis drives in southeast Washington, DC. The Federal Highway Administration awarded a construction contract on August 30 to repave the entire roadways and improve stormwater management along the roadways.
“I know many people have been looking forward to this for sometime. Repairing Fort Dupont and Fort Davis drives has been one of my top priorities since becoming superintendent,” said Fort Dupont Park Superintendent Tara Morrison. “The project will improve access for everyone in Fort Dupont Park, and will also help us preserve the historic character of the these roads.”
In the coming weeks, the Park Service will work to finalize a construction schedule and share that with the public. To minimize inconvenience, the agency anticipates that the project and associated closures will happen in short segments.
Once work beings, the Ridge Road picnic area and portions of the activity center parking lot will close for the duration of the project. The work will not prevent visitors from accessing the community garden, and the Randall Circle picnic areas will stay open.
As a part of this project, the short Lanham Estates loop road will be converted into a pedestrian trail and the Park Service will create an improved parking area for people using the picnic area, visiting the Civil War era earthworks, or just enjoying the park.
Why Fort Dupont and Fort Davis are important:
Fort Dupont and Fort Davis were built to defend against potential Confederate attacks on the nation’s capital during the Civil War. Completed in the spring of 1862, Fort Dupont was named after Samuel F. Dupont, a naval officer who won a significant battle at Port Royal, S.C. in 1861. Fort Davis, completed in 1861, was dedicated to Colonel Benjamin F. Davis, who was killed in combat in 1863. Both forts were abandoned in 1865 after the Civil War ended. In the 1930s, the National Park Service acquired the forts and surrounding land for recreation. Today, popular activities include hiking, biking, running, gardening, and a summer concert series.