There’s new pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting the Metropolitan Branch Trail to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. The bridge opened this morning and helps trail users and residents of the Edgewood neighborhood reach the Metro.

The completed bridge seen from the MBT. All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.

Plan for the bridge. Image from DDOT.

The new bridge spans the CSX tracks starting on the trail just north of Rhode Island Avenue.

Stairs to the bridge from the MBT.

The top is just steps from the Metro station faregates.

The Rhode Island Avenue Metro station entrance from the bridge access point.

Trail users can access the bridge from either a ramp or stairs that connect to the trail.

Ramp to the bridge from the MBT.

The bridge itself is a straightforward steel and concrete affair. Plexiglass panels line the sides while mesh netting covers the top of the span. These protect users from the wind and also prevent debris from getting onto the CSX tracks.

The bridge span.

The bridge is a big improvement over the circuitous route on narrow sidewalks along busy Rhode Island Avenue that people had to take to reach the station from the west side of the tracks. Some would instead illegally cut through the fence and cross the tracks at grade.

The District Department of Transportation announced the bridge project in 2010 and planned to open it in late 2011. However, the opening date slipped because of problems with the bidding process and other issues.

Update: Jonathan Rogers took a video of the experience riding along the bridge: