Transforming the Middle Branch Waterfront into a seamless system of parks and paths presents complex challenges and the potential for a game-changing outcome.
The existing patchwork of waterfront properties – recreational piers, educational facilities, and commercial, industrial and residential properties – are disconnected, providing inconsistent waterfront access. Stormwater outfalls deliver tons of trash and pollutants to Middle Branch. The impact of past industrial land use linger in the soils along the shoreline. Outdated transit and aging infrastructure in neighborhoods no longer support the needs of residents. Master plans for Port Covington and Westport waterfront properties will deliver a new destination and engine for economic growth within their boundaries while other waterfront areas remain largely untouched.
Visionary leadership, careful planning and the talent and energy of the right interdisciplinary team of professionals will be needed to design and plan the Middle Branch Waterfront as the next great recreational waterfront, a model of urban livability and a timeless ecological treasure for the Chesapeake region.
The Middle Branch Waterfront concept is in its infancy but its gaining momentum each day. Announcements of next steps for design and planning will be posted later this year.
Timeline is subject to change.