Contact: James Johnson
Voice: (202) 685-0659
By NAVFAC Washington Public Affairs
BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington Public Works Department Bethesda received the American Planning Association Outstanding Federal Planning Project Award during a ceremony held here April 30, for the Naval Support Activity Bethesda accessibility plan.
The accessibility plan is a comprehensive tool used to improve accessibility in and at the exterior environments of the installation.
This is critical for recovering residents, their families and patients who receive care and services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence and other providers located at Naval Support Activity Bethesda.
"This has been a great team effort," said Ronal Ewart, asset management branch head for Public Works Department Bethesda. "We had so much participation from public works personnel, installation and hospital staff, Wounded Warriors and their caregivers, and others. I see this award as a huge win for all of us at Bethesda."
The NSAB Accessibility Plan recognizes that topography challenges cannot always be easily overcome - therefore creative solutions are necessary to provide accessible pathways that provide alternative connections between facilities.
The planning team created an innovative plan that applied commonly known accessibility standards to a campus-wide pedestrian network. The team evaluated existing conditions; prioritized routes based upon pedestrian traffic between origins and destinations, and established a capital improvements program to implement the improvements.
Important features were implemented throughout the plan including tactile warning strips placed on the edge of all exterior stairs, and deeper stair treads for those using prosthetics. New sidewalk curb ramps, directional pylons, and pressure-triggered, lighted crosswalks to provide safer, easier passage for all pedestrians. Resting nodes, complete with a bench and concrete pad (for wheelchairs), were set every 200 yards along the routes.
Approximately 60 percent of the improvements have been constructed, the remainder is scheduled for completion by 2015.