FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2008
City of Alexandria Celebrates Wilkes Street Tunnel
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Saturday, June 14
Structural Rehabilitation Made to City Landmark
The City of Alexandria invites residents to attend the Wilkes Street Tunnel Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, on Saturday, June 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. located at Wilkes and Royal Streets. This event recognizes the City’s commitment towards historic preservation and landmark recognition.
The Wilkes Street Tunnel is noted as one of only two historic railroad structures currently in existence throughout the city. Completed in 1856, the tunnel was originally used by the Orange & Alexandria rail company as a route service and major connector between Washington D.C. and Richmond.
Structural refurbishment started September 2007 and was completed in March 2008. The interior consists of dry-laid and grey sandstone vaulted walls. Tunnel dimensions are approximately 170 feet long with exterior stone and brick surfaces. The arch is approximately 15 feet wide and 17 feet tall and consists of grey sandstone masonry.
Repairs to the existing structure include fabrication and installation of 54 circumferential steel reinforcement ribs. Electrical maintenance includes new cables, conduit controls, and 10 additional light fixtures. Asphalt repairs were made to 800 square yards of the multi-use trail pavement area. In addition, drainage improvements include the installation of a curb inlet, new curb, and extended gutter system.
After a formal program, Mayor William D. Euille, local elected officials, City staff, and members of the public are invited to gather in front of the tunnel entrance for a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.
For information about the Wilkes Street Tunnel Ribbon Cutting, please contact Kathleen Leonard, Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, at 703.838.4966.