Anacostia Drive, which runs through Anacostia Park and alongside the Anacostia River, was almost certainly worked on during the New Deal – more than once – though the evidence is not conclusive.
According to a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project card on file in the National Archives, the WPA office approved a project to grade Anacostia Road (now Drive) in 1935. This work has not been confirmed, but since the WPA did almost $1 million worth of road work in the district in 1935-36, including roads like Good Hope SE, and also did extensive work on Anacostia Park during that time, it is highly likely that this road work was carried out.
Then, in 1941, according to the Washington Post, funds had been approved for the WPA and Public Roads Administration – by that time both part of the Federal Works Agency (FWA) – for the construction of a temporary road from Howard Road to the Anacostia Bridge, parallel to the Anacostia River (the route of today’s Anacostia Drive). It has not been confirmed whether this road work was completed, either, though it is very likely.
National Archives, Record Group 69, “Microfilmed Index to WPA Projects.”
“$1,158,000 D.C. roads program set,” Washington Post, March 23, 1941, p. B1
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on May 29, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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