Wiles Mensch Corporation – DC (WM) provided survey and civil engineering services to support the transformation of the existing Benjamin Banneker Park to improve general accessibility and connectivity for DC’s Southwest quadrant. The 8-acre site located between I-395, Maine Avenue and 9th Street, commemorates the African American scientist, surveyor and author who assisted in the survey of the original boundaries of the District of Columbia.
Due to the location close proximity to exit lanes of major highways and local roads, site elevation and grading were a major component of the site design. An improved pedestrian connection between the National Mall and the waterfront along Maine Avenue, SW was identified and proposed by NPS, in cooperation with NCPC, as part of the SW Ecodistrict and the National Mall plans.
WM completed a boundary, topographic, and utility survey for the design team. The project also includes landscaping, improvements to pedestrian crosswalks and ADA curb ramps, lighting installation, universal accessibility, and stormwater management. Due to the project’s extremely close proximity to the 500-year flood zone, a creative approach to stormwater management design was necessary to ensure full compliance with the Department of Energy & Environment’s SWM regulations was achieved and all programmatic, functional, and aesthetic goals were met for the project. The team located stormwater features between the western stairway and the retaining wall, as an opportunity to use integrated stormwater management as part of the pedestrian experience while descending the western stairway. Further design work was necessary for the stormwater retention component located adjacent to the stairway. Stormwater management was achieved with the inclusion of four on-site bio-retentions.
Photos courtesy of: National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC)